Twenty-Minute Pickles

Twenty-Minute Pickles
Stefan Wettainen

Малосольные огурцы за 20 минут

These pickles couldn’t be simpler. The recipe comes from Katya Bruyaka, whose small kitchen in Murmansk is a wonderland of homemade distillations and preserves that allow her to throw together fabulous meals on the spur of the moment. When Katya served me these pickles, I worried that she might be using up the last of her precious summer preserves before winter had come to an end. But she just laughed and happily confessed that these pickles can be made quickly any time of the year. Now I make them whenever I crave a quick Russian fix.


  • 3 Persian cucumbers (about 8 ounces), trimmed and sliced lengthwise into quarters
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill (about 3 sprigs, coarse stems removed)
  • 1 tablespoon vodka
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon salt


Place all the ingredients in a small resealable sandwich bag and gently massage to distribute the seasonings evenly. Leave the bag on the counter for 20 minutes, turning it occasionally to bathe the cucumbers in the liquid that forms. The pickles taste best chilled after 20 minutes. They will hold well in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

Reprinted with permission from Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore by Darra Goldstein, copyright © 2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

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