These dill pickles are a worthy rival to the standard cucumber pickle.
- 2 pounds tender okra
- 1 quart white vinegar
- 6 tablespoons salt
- 16 small cloves garlic
- 8 small fresh hot red peppers
- 1 bunch of fresh dill (about 24 sprigs)
- 1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
Rinse okra, and cut away any bruises or bad spots. Trim stem ends of okra, but do not remove caps entirely.
Wash eight 1-pint canning jars, lids, and screw bands with hot soapy water, and rinse well. Place a wire rack on the bottom of a large pot. Place jars upright on a wire rack in a large pot, fill pot with hot water until jars are submerged, and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, but leave jars in water. Sterilize lids and screw bands according to manufacturer's instructions.
Meanwhile, bring vinegar, 3 cups water, and salt to a boil in a large pot.
Using stainless-steel tongs, remove jars from water, and set on a layer of clean towels. Evenly divide garlic, peppers, dill sprigs, and mustard seeds among sterilized jars. Pack jars tightly with okra, alternating direction of caps. Leave 3/4 inch of space beneath the rim of the jar. Pour hot liquid over okra, covering okra by 1/4 inch, leaving 1/2 inch of space beneath the rim. Slide a clean plastic chopstick or wooden skewer along the inside of each jar to release any air bubbles. Wipe mouth of jar with a clean, damp cloth. Place hot lid on jar; screw on band firmly without forcing.
Place a wire rack in the bottom of a large pot, and fill pot with hot water. Using a jar lifter, place the jars on the rack. Add enough hot water to cover by 2 inches, and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove jars from water bath with jar lifter; let stand on clean dish towels for 24 hours. Check cool jars for the slight indentation in the lids that indicates a vacuum seal. Jars that do not seal properly or that leak during processing should be stored in the refrigerator and pickles consumed within a week. Allow sealed pickles to mellow in a cool, dry place for 6 to 8 weeks before serving. Store opened jars in the refrigerator.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, October 1994