Seasonal local food recipe No.200: Cucumber relish and cucumber pickle

Photo: Harriet Smith

What do you do with a glut of cucumbers? One caller to BBC radio suggested always taking a cucumber on holiday in case it’s needed to replace a missing bath plug!

For those of us who’ve spent the summer at home in Cornwall, here’s a quick cucumber relish from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall via the Guardian and an easy cucumber pickle from Simon Hulstone of The Elephant Restaurant in Torquay. Both are delicious with barbecued or roasted meat and fish, or patés.

Hugh’s marinated cucumber with mint
1 medium-large cucumber (350-400g)
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
2 tbsp finely chopped mint
Pinch of sugar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel the cucumber (or leave the skin on, if you prefer), halve it lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Slice into thick half-moons. Put in a dish with the vinegar, oil, mint and a pinch each of sugar, salt and pepper. Toss together thoroughly, then set aside in a cool place (but not the fridge) for 15-30 minutes. Toss again before serving.

Simon’s cucumber pickle
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
600ml water
2 cloves
1 cardamon pod
4 black peppercorns
½tsp caraway seeds, toasted
½tsp mustard seeds
small bay leaf
1 sprig tarragon
30g salt
50g chardonnay (or white wine) vinegar

Heat the water up to boiling point with all the ingredients except the cucumber and vinegar. As soon as it boils, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Once the liquor is cold, add the vinegar. Put the sliced cucumber into a kilner jar and cover with the vinegar mix. Leave until required, keeping longer will improve the taste.

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