Finally cucumbers are back in season in Sydney, bringing a welcome price drop from around $10 per kilo to as low as $2 per kilo. With prices so low I put more than a few Lebanese cucumbers in my basket this week without even thinking about what I’d use them for.
What did I do? I decided to continue my October pickling experiments (see pickled beetroots and pickled carrots) into November. So here you’ll see how to pickle cucumbers – thanks to a recipe from Frank Camorra, the chef behind Australia’s Movida restaurants. His recipe really caught my attention because it’s packed with vinegar. Vinegar hasn’t had too much attention to date as a health food but with recent headlines like “Vinegar may be the next big superfood” I’m sure it won’t fly under the radar for too much longer.
I adapted Frank Camorra’s base recipe to increase the quantity of ingredients (and end pickle amount). I also replaced the sugar with an optional natural sweetener, and I think his recipe works without dill. Once pickled these cucumbers come in handy as an accompaniment for everything from pâté to burgers to fish and even butter on toast.
- 1kg to 1.2kg Lebanese cucumbers
- 2 brown or red (Spanish) onions
- 4 tsp brown mustard seeds
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 3 tbsp salt – ideally Himalayan salt
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1.5 to 2 cups white wine vinegar
- Optional – 2 tsp chopped dill
- Optional – natural sweetener such as stevia
- Finely slice the cucumbers and onion (leave the skin on the cucumbers). Add both to a large bowl.
- Dissolve the salt in the hot water and stir through. Then pour this mixture over the cucumber and onions. Allow to sit for 2-3 hours.
- In the meantime add all of the other ingredients to a large saucepan and heat on a medium heat. If you’re adding a natural sweetener such as stevia now is the time to ensure it dissolves.
- Transfer the cucumber and onions to a colander and squeeze out any excess water. Then add them into the pan and simmer for a few minutes (no more than five minutes).
- Remove from the heat and transfer to sterilised jars for storing.
- Wash jars and lids in warm soapy water and remove any original labels
- Put the jars in a pan covered with water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and boil for 10-15 minutes
- Optional extra step – remove from the water and add the jars into the oven at 100C for 10-15 minutes
Live in Sydney and keen to learn more about pickling? Then consider a course at Marrickville’s Cornersmith Cafe & Picklery. Pickling really is on the rise – alongside our desire to know more about exactly what goes into the foods we eat. This Inner West cafe is now catering for Sydneysiders with pickling and preserving classes.
Finally here’s a great article to tempt you to get pickling – ‘Sydney’s in a pickle‘.
By Feast Wisely
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