Sweet and sour pickles – castraveți murați

The pickling is a technique to conserve food using salt and vinegar. Salt prevents the growth of bad microorganisms and allows the good ones to grow and to preserve the food. It also keeps the vegetables crunchy. Vinegar plays the same role. In the Romanian recipes of muraturi (pickled fruits and vegetables), we usually find a brine made with vinegar and herbs.

In Romania, traditional dishes like mamaliga (polenta) or tochitura (fried meat and offal served with polenta and fried eggs) are always served with castraveti murati. Here is the recipe of Sorin, the cook of Popesti. Enjoy!

Ingredients :

small cucumbers (2-8”)

several heads of garlic

white vinegar or cider vinegar

coarse salt


fresh dill

mason jars

We made the following recipe in a mason jar of 2 gal. We can use smaller or bigger containers, you just have to adjust the quantity.

Prepare the vegetables :

Clean the cucumbers and cut both ends

Peel several garlics

In a mason jar

Pack several layers of cucumbers as tight as possible.

At ⅓ from the bottom, put the garlic.

Add more cucumbers to the ⅔ of the jar. 

Add more garlic.

Fill to the top with cucumbers. Leave less than 1” of free space.

Add garlic.

Add fresh dill on top.

In a bowl, mix:

1 gal. of water

2.6 pt of vinegar

5 tsp of coarse salt

2 tsp of sugar

Mix well to dissolve the salt and the sugar.

Pour the liquid in the mason jar until everything is covered: the vegetables must have no contact with the oxygene.

Close the jar hermetically.

Leave the jar in a fresh area, away from the sun.

The castraveti murati can be eaten one week later, full or cut lengthwise, in a salad or as a side dish. This recipe must be eaten in the following month.

Enjoy! Poftă bună !