Seasonal local food recipe No 106: Sweet cucumber pickle

A great way of using the cucumbers that are growing so well in the CSA’s polytunnel. I halved the quantities of this recipe (from Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook) for three of the cucumbers we had in this week’s boxes. It made three mustard-size jars. It should store for up to a year, but keep in the fridge once opened.

Ingredients for 5 small jars

3 large cucumbers
2 onions
50g salt
600ml white wine or distilled white vinegar
450g granulated sugar
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp celery seeds
5 cloves
½ tsp ground turmeric

Peel the cucumbers and cut lengthways into thinnish sticks about 6-7cm long. Thinly slice the onions into half moons. Put the cucumber and onions and salt into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt. Cover with a weighted plate and leave for 2-3 hours.

Rinse the cucumber and onion in cold water and then let stand to drain. While they are draining, put all the remaining ingredients into a pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cucumber and onion, bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute.

Remove from the heat and lift the cucumber and onion out of the liquid. Put into warm sterilised jars. Return the liquid to the heat and boil rapidly for at least 10 minutes to reduce it. Pour the liquid over the cucumber in the jars and cover.

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