Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had a thing for cucumbers. As a child, my favourite thing would always be a good cucumber sandwich. Always present at days out, school trips & packed lunches (mainly because it was far cheaper than buying anything at the beach or museum).
When all of the other children we’re chowing down on ham sandwiches, sausage rolls & Dairylea triangles, all I wanted was a triangular, buttery, cucumber sandwich (I was also the only child in school who actually enjoyed broccoli & gherkins too… I was an odd one).
Traditionally forming part of an afternoon tea, my preferred cucumber sandwich though is miles away from the crustless, skinless, perfectly manicured finger variety. In fact, my guilty pleasure is a soggy affair, a cucumber sandwich made on white bread, spread thickly with butter, a heavy handed sprinkling of salt & left in the fridge overnight to reach the optimum sogginess.
A pleasure that I never grew out of in my later years as the majority of my homegrown cucumbers these days end up in a sandwich as opposed to a salad. This year however, I’ve grown some proper monsters in my greenhouse, cucumbers so large that they can be held like a rugby ball, leaving me with quite the green bounty. Luckily, I’ve always got plenty of clip-top jars to handy so I’ve turned to pickling my excess cucumber for use in many future sandwiches or, another guilty pleasure, straight from the jar!
Pickled cucumbers are almost too easy to make at home, for my method, I don’t bubble or boil anything first, I make my brine all straight in the jar (yey for less washing up!). I prefer my pickled a little more on the sweeter side & use a few tablespoons of honey to bring that out, if you prefer a sharper pickle though, then simply omit it when making.
(makes x1 1litre jar)
- 2 large cucumbers
- 2 tsp salt
- 600ml white vinegar
- 300g caster sugar
- 100ml freshly boiled water
- 8 tsp mustard seeds
- 4 tbsp honey
- Slice the cucumbers into fingers, strips or chunks, whichever shape you prefer
- Add the sliced cucumber into a large bowl & sprinkle over the salt
- Toss the cucumber to mix with the salt & set aside for at least 30 minutes
- Meanwhile, to make the pickle simply add all of the other ingredients into a 1 litre jar & stir until all of the sugar dissolves
- After 30 minutes, rinse the sliced cucumbers to remove the salt
- Add the cucumbers to the pickle jar & seal
- Preferably, leave the cucumbers to pickle for at least a week but they will keep for several months unopened, just pop into the fridge once opened