If there is one Pickled vegetable I have to make every year, it is this one, Baby Cucumbers. That is, I try and pick them whilst they are still little. Easier said than done. If I think I should leave the one’s that look too little to harvest, for a or 2 and return to harvest, I should think again. Cucumbers are like Courgettes, blink or turn your back on them for a day and they have grown a good 5 to 10cm overnight!
A lesson I learnt 4 years ago, not to plant more than 2 plants of any 1 variety, and if planning to grow more than 2 varieties, grow each variety with at least 5 to 10 Metres apart in distance. Planting different varieties closer will only result in fruits tasting bitter due to cross pollination. I even make sure I find out where my neighbour is planning to grow her variety, so we both get good harvests, nothing worse than bitter cucumbers.
It will be such a waste, Gin and Tonic with a bitter Cucumber garnish? No thanks.
As for the cucumber varieties I grow, one is always a larger ‘salad’ variety: Marketmore and the other a little cucumber variety good for pickling like Gherkin. This year’s Pickling variety is from Real Seed Catalogue called Parisian Pickling.
I have gathered quite a few from my 2 plants over a week and now time to brine them.
Wash the small jars or bottles and the lids in hot soapy water and sterilise the bottles (I place the washed bottles in a preheated oven at 100˙C for at least half an hour). Lids should be dried out throughly using paper towel and not heated in the oven.
As I have said in my previous recipe, the herbs and spices are entirely your choice. Here I have used shop bought Yellow mustard seeds and Black peppercorns. Also using my own grown saved seeds of Coriander and Dill. In the herb garden I still have fresh herbs and decided to add a few leaves of fresh dill.
The amount you see in the above picture will make 1 jar 500ml size, so for that use 250ml of white vinegar with 50ml of water. To that add 2 tablespoon full of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the pickling herbs and spices. Bring to boil and allow to simmer.
Remove jar from the oven and carefully fill the jar with the washed baby cucumbers. Gently pouring the pickling liquid into the jar, and quickly seal with the lid.
Allow to cool completely before storing in cool dark cupboard. These Pickles should be stored for a minimum of 3 months, before use and will store for a year (in our home, they never stored for that long, they get used up within 6 months). Once opened store in a refrigerator and consume within 2 months.
I’d love to know how you make your gherkins, drop me a message below or via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.