Introducing the first recipe from the 2016 Vertical Screen Garden Recipe Collection

To kick off our collection of weekly recipes, we thought it would be fitting to share a recipe that can be best used as an appetizer, a snack or as a topping to a sandwich. Our first recipe is Bill’s Spicy Dill Pickles.

A healthy dose of garlic cloves, some hot peppers and homemade brine give this recipe what you will need to enjoy these flavor-packed pickles.


For the brine

  • 2 quarts (8 cups) water
  • ½ cup pickling salt (you can use kosher but do not use ionized table salt)
  • 1 quart (4 cups) of distilled white vinegar (5 percent distilled – common white vinegar sold in stores)

This brine will make about 4+ quarts of pickles depending on the size of pickles and how tight you pack them

For the Spicy Dill Pickles

  • Fresh cucumbers – Three-to-four, four-to-five inch cucumber will typically fill a one quart mason jar
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (sliced lengthwise) per jar – You can also use habanero pepper for a more spicy flavor
  • ½ tsp whole black peppercorn per jar
  • 3 whole garlic cloves (peeled) per jar – 1 tsp of minced garlic per jar will also work
  • 3 large fresh dill sprigs per jar (or substitute 1 tbsp of dried dill seed)
  • ½ to 1 tsp of dry crushed red pepper per jar


  • Wash cucumbers in cold water
  • Cut a 1/16-inch slice off the blossom end and discard. Note that this measurement should be exact, so measure twice and cut ones. If the cucumbers have stems leave a ¼-inch of stem attached.
  • Sterilize the pickling jars and lids in boiling water. Allow them to stand in the boiling water until used.
  • In a separate large pot, combine brine ingredients. Bring to a boil and stir until all salt is dissolved. Keep at a slow simmer until used.
  • In each sterilized jar place: 3 sprigs of dill weed (or 1 tbsp of dried dill seed), 1 sliced jalapeno or habanero pepper (sliced lengthwise), 3 peeled garlic cloves and ½ tsp black peppercorn. Add crushed red pepper to taste.
  • Fill jar with washed cucumbers and pour the homemade brine into the jar to within ½ inch of the top.
  • Seal jars tightly and place in boiling water for 15 minutes.
  • Store in a cool area. Best if allowed to sit for at least two-to-three weeks before eating.


Be sure to check back next week for our newest recipe from our 2016 Garden Recipe Collection.

Recipe submitted by Bill Wagner.

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