For several years now, I have been a successful cucumber grower. So much so, that even though I reduce the amount of plants I raise each year, I always end up with a glut. Whilst I enjoy eating cucumber raw in salads, and they are very good lightly cooked in a stir fry, I have been at a loss as to what else to do with them.
Whilst leafing through an old cookery book for inspiration, I came across an intriguing recipe called Bread and Butter pickle. The name drew me in, and to my delight, it is a real gem. It is one of the best pickles I have ever made, and so easy to make. I hope you like it as much as I do.
Makes 5 x 325ml jars
- 1kg prepared cucumbers, chopped into 1.5cm pieces
- 250g prepared red onion, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp sea salt
- 550ml white wine vinegar
- 175g granulated sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- Pinch of dried chilli flakes
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp each of mustard seeds, coriander seeds and cumin seeds, coarsely ground
- Mix the cucumber, red onion and salt together in a large, clean, china or glass bowl. Leave to stand at room temperature, lightly covered, for 1 hour.
- Drain the vegetables in a fine-holed colander or strainer. Rinse very well in cold running water, then dry very well on absorbent kitchen paper. Pack into 5 x 325ml sterilised jam jars.
- Put the vinegar in a saucepan and add the remaining ingredients. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
- Pour the hot vinegar over the vegetables, making sure they are completely covered. Seal tightly with non corrosive, screw-top lids. Leave to cool, then label, and store in a cool, dry place for at least 3 months before opening. Delicious served with smoked fish or cold cuts. I spoon the pickle over chilli beef tacos – delicious!