Little Dom’s Spicy bread & butter pickles

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Pickling and fermenting are hot on the minds of chefs nowadays. But long before the days of refrigeration, pickling was a necessary means of preserving seasonal bounty. Recently, it’s become a trendy practice, due in part to the DIY movement and to the touted nutritional benefits of eating fermented foods.

A trip to the local farmers market can yield bushels of inspiration because almost anything can be pickled. Look for fruits or vegetables with firm textures that will hold up to the process. At Little Dom’s in Los Feliz, you’ll find jars of pickles lining the restaurant shelves — pickled green tomatoes to serve on burgers, pickled okra to serve with Bloody Mary’s, spicy bread and butter pickles, mostardas and more.

When the Little Dom’s crew makes their spicy bread and butter pickles, they use 3-inch-long cucumbers that are about an inch in diameter. They prefer cucumbers with tougher skins that will offer satisfying snaps long after they’ve been pickled. Start with a basic brine of salt and ice to draw the moisture out of the cucumbers. The ice is key to keeping your pickles crunchy. After soaking the cucumbers for at least two hours, rinse off the brine and transfer the cucumber rounds to sterilized preserving jars. Then cover them with the hot pickling liquid and process the jars in a pressure canner or a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

In four to six weeks, you’ll have tangy, mouthwatering pickles to add to any dish or savor as a tasty snack.