French Laundry's Blue Ribbon Pickles

Coming to us courtesy of the world-renowned French Laundry & Bouchon restaurants of the Thomas Keller group in Yountville, California is this fantastic Blue Ribbon pickle recipe. 

Bouchon uses it to pickle vegetables that accompany the charcuterie or steak tartare; The French Laundry has made crispy fired pickle chips with butter-poached halibut and a mustard emulsion.  The recipe is an adaptation of Chef de Cuisine David Breeden’s grandmother Betty Breeden used to make (without a recipe) when he was a child.  Chef Breeden and his colleagues came together and created a recipe that tasted just like the pickles she made.

This recipe produces a very subtle pickle that tastes like a brilliant, fresh brined cucumber.  The key to this recipe, and the perfect pickle according to our chefs, is making sure you use the freshest garden dill that’s wild and flowering, as well as organic garlic and impeccably fresh organic cucumbers, which are inherently more tender. 


2 lbs fresh garden cucumbers, washed well, blossom-end removed
4 cups water
1 cup distilled white vinegar
¼ cup sugar
5 tbsp salt
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tbsp Tellicherry peppercorns
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp star anise
1 tsp coriander
2 stalks celery hearts, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3 sprigs dill

In a large pot, bring water, distilled vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil making sure to whisk to dissolve the salt and sugar fully. Add the remaining ingredients and allow to steep for 30 minutes.

Cover the cucumbers and allow to “pickle” for 5 days whilst refrigerated. Best results after 3 weeks.  Enjoy!

-Recipe by Thomas Keller Group, photo by Oscar De La Villa Jr.

Feed by Round Pond

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The Feed by Round Pond is a collective voice of the staff that embodies the ethos of all we do--from making wine to making artisanal food products to just plain having fun--here at Round Pond.

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