Pickling is an ancient technique that is a good way for preserving beetroot, courgettes, cucumbers, grapes, pears, peppers, plums and shallots.
Got a glut? Discover ways of preserving your harvests.
Vinegar or brine are used to preserve produce. Sliced or chopped vegetables are placed in a colander and sprinkled with coarse salt, which draws out the moisture. Spices are added to the vinegar, which is brought to the boil, and once hot, poured over the rinsed vegetables. Kept in sterilised containers in the fridge, these will last for three or four months, unopened.
The following recipe is for pickling cucumber, but you can use this method to pickle any crops.
You Will Need
- Cucumber (Large)
- Sea salt (3tbsp)
- White wine vinegar (300ml)
- Sugar (300g)
- Pickling spice (2tsp)
- Turmeric (Quarter of a tsp)
- Red onion, peeled and sliced
- Dill, chopped (Handful)
Wash the cucumber well, then cut into thin slices. Layer the cucumber in a colander and sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to stand for 2-2.5 hours or until the cucumber no longer releases any juices.
Place the vinegar, sugar and spices in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the sliced red onion and dill. Let it simmer gently for 3-4 minutes.
Squeeze the salted cucumber slices gently, then drain and rinse them under plenty of cold running water. Keep turning them over with your hands to make sure the cucumber at the bottom of the sieve gets rinsed properly, too.
Pack the cucumber into preserving jars. Pour the pickling liquid over the cucumbers, making sure you get plenty of the spices (you might not need all of it). Fill to the brim with liquid, then seal tightly. Place in the fridge and allow to mature for about four weeks before opening. Unopened, they will keep for four months. Once opened, the cucumber will keep for three months in the fridge, as long as it is covered in pickling liquid.