All winter, Australian winter that is, I’ve been reading about people making dill pickles, refrigerator cukes, etc etc etc as the northern hemisphere enjoyed summer. Well today it is my turn, today I will share with you the most fabulous, the most terrific, the most wonderful pickled cucumber recipe ever! Yes I know its a big call and these things a very much a matter of personal taste, so perhaps I should call it the pickled cucumber recipe that I find most fabulous, most terrific and most wonderful. My mother likes it too though and that should count for something right?
Anyway the spicing in this recipe borrows from a recipe in Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion (a book that narrowly missed my Top 5). It is a recipe from her sister who, as Stephanie reports, grows great cucumbers. Perhaps she lives near me because of all the things I grow I find cucumbers one of the most troublefree (touch wood).
This recipe makes about 800ml worth of pickles, double it, triple it, quadruple it, or make a series of batch as I do, as they keep for ages – we ate our last jar in September from a January batch (we only still had it because it found its way to the back of the cupboard) and they tasted great. My kids love these too so they don’t last too long in our house usually.
Bread & Butter Cucumbers
- 500g cucumbers – not too big ideally. I use the Lebanese ones that are about 15cm long and they work brilliantly. Slice the cucumbers thinly.
- 1 large or 2 smaller onions – thinly sliced
- 1.5 tblspn salt
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 tsp chopped dill
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
Dissolve the salt in the water, if it doesn’t dissolve you may need to heat the water on the stove. Put the cucumbers and onion into a large bowl, pour on the salty water and leave for a few hours. Strain off the liquid. Rinse the cucumbers under running water to remove excess salt. Strain again pressing down to remove as much liquid as possible.
Place vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, dill, turmeric and chilli into a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Add cucumber & onions. Simmer for a couple of minutes – they will lose some of their beautiful greenness but dont worry they still taste great. Bottle in sterlised jars ensuring that the vinegar liquid completely covers the cucumbers. Try to keep them for a few weeks before using them to allow the flavours to mellow.
For other Thursday Kitchen Cupboard ideas check out the Gardener of Eden’s site.