Recipes - Pickles & Dips

Pickled Cucumbers & Celery

We just moved house. Well strictly speaking we moved units. I say that because house prices in Sydney have skyrocketed so much in recent years that you now need a cool $1 million (and more) to purchase an ‘average’ Sydney house. It’s a city where opting for a unit/apartment can be the only way to tick ‘location’ off your wish list.

Since arriving in Australia in 2007 we’ve moved units four times and the most recent move was the biggest. Biggest not because of size (our total living space is 100 square metres) but because it was so eagerly awaited. We bought ‘off the plan’ in Manly back in early 2015 and during a long three year wait I kept reminding myself that the best things come to those who wait. 

Manly sunriseThe Sydney suburb of Manly is only around 15km from the CBD but it feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s one of those relaxed beach spots – similar to those that feature on Australian TV shows like Home & Away and Bondi Rescue. As a Manly local there’s so much on my doorstep. I can walk barefoot from home just 100 steps or so, coffee in one hand and usually two dogs in the other, to watch the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean. And when it comes to foodie options I’m spoilt for choice…..

One of my unexpected foodie joys is a weekly produce market. Every Sunday farmers bring their freshly picked seasonal delights to the centre of Manly.

Pickled Cucumbers & CeleryOne of those farmers, Rita’s Farm Produce, has become my go-to stop for affordable organic produce. Rita’s family’s saying is “Eat good, be good” – I couldn’t agree more and that’s why I’m making a huge effort in 2018 to buy more organic.

Pickled Cucumbers & CeleryMuch of what I’m finding myself picking up from Rita’s Farm Produce isn’t intended for a specific recipe or meal – it just looks so good I can’t resist. You could call it impulse veggie buying. Last week’s impulse picks included Chinese cucumbers, also known as Suyu Long Cucumbers. They’re crispy and sweet to taste, but not that watery.

Pickled Cucumbers & CeleryMy husband pickled the Chinese cucumbers alongside the top of a bunch of organic celery. (Using the top of celery stalks and the leaves that too often get discarded is apparently now on trend with the rise of ‘root to stem’ cooking).

Pickled Cucumbers & CeleryPickled Cucumbers (or other veggies)

The spice mix for the pickling brine came from a recipe for pickled carrots and cauliflower from the cookbook Slow Food by Jared Ingersoll. Jared, originally from New Zealand, is one of Sydney’s well known chefs and his philosophy is to put produce first and let the seasons dictate what goes on your plate – this recipe is a great example of making using of seasonal produce.Pickled Cucumbers & CeleryIngredients:

  • 1 large Chinese cucumber (or around 800g of other cucumber), finely sliced
  • The top 1/4 of a bunch of celery – including leaves, roughly chopped
  • 375ml – 500ml apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • Spices:
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 3 – 4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp each of black peppercorns, cloves and allspice berries
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried thyme, rosemary and grated nutmeg


  • You don’t have to include every spice – adapt the recipe to those spices listed that you have to hand.
  • To follow Jared’s brine recipe exactly you’ll also add a generous pinch of sugar as well as a cup or so of both extra virgin olive oil and dry white wine.


  • Firstly make the pickling brine – add all of the ingredients (except the cucumber and celery) into a pan and on a high heat bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes and then remove from the heat.
  • Add the sliced cucumber and chopped celery into a large bowl and pour over the slightly cooled brine mixture. The cucumber and celery should be completely covered by the brine.
  • Allow to cool completely and then transfer to sterilised airtight glass jars. Store for at least 48 hours (ideally in the fridge) before enjoying.

Pickled Cucumbers & CeleryI mentioned earlier the saying the best things come to those who wait. It’s a saying that applies nicely to pickling because you do need to be patient and letting the spices work their magic over a few days before you dive in.

Other pickling recipes you might like



26 thoughts on “Pickled Cucumbers & Celery

  1. Manly looks like exactly the kind of place I would love to live as well. Congratulations on the move and new home. And thanks for this easy pickle recipe, I have made a similar one for just cucumbers but have never though of celery. Glad you left out all the sugar and oil.

    • Thanks Liz for your kind words. Yes I’m very lucky to live in such a special spot. The celery inspiration came from a local wine bar where we tried pickled celery on their cheese boards – it works really well…..and of course there’s really no need for added sugar.

  2. Wow I am sorry to hear about those house prices, but also wish you all the best with your new location! And I can totally relate to impulse veggie buying, especially when it comes to farmers’ markets :’) Will be trying this out for sure as I have never had pickled celery and it seems like a wonderful idea!! Xx

  3. Congratulations on the new home! I had no idea the cost of homes was so high in Sydney. But in return, it is a beautiful city! I’m loving this easy recipe, will keep it close for summertime!

  4. Ooooh this looks so yummy and healthy! 😀 I can almost relate to house prices as London is similarly ridiculous (although not QUITE as bad), but I’ve got a few years to go before freaking out about needing to move out fortunately!xx

  5. I love the combination of cucumber and celery, even better pickled! Manly looks amazing and living in the UK, warm! We had some cold weather here and it isn’t easing up too much any time soon. Your new pad sounds great and local markets are the best!
    How long does your pickles keep? The jars are beautiful 🙂

    • Thank you Petra – and yes we are coming to the end of the warm 6-8 months of the year. The jars are called Weck jars – believe it or so I picked them up in Aldi, I am sure you would be able to get hold of them. These pickles keep for weeks – preserving nicely out of the fridge due to the vinegar….thanks for stopping by

  6. Laura, Manly sounds like such a wonderful place to live and having the market so close by….not to mention the beach….I am so jealous 🙂
    I am an impulse veggie buyer too, so can totally relate.What a great way to use the cucumbers. The pickled cucumbers look so good and I like your idea of using the top part of the celery in it..

    • Hi Sandhya – yes I’m very lucky to have the beach and a farmers market on my doorstep. As for impulse veggie buying it’s always a good thing – usually means a great bargain and/or something creative to come out of it!

  7. Congratulations on the move, Laura. You won’t believe this but my husband and I did exactly the same thing. Bought an apartment in Browns Bay (East Coast Bays of Auckland) off the plans and then patiently waited two years for it to be completed. We’ve been in for just over a year now and love it! Three minutes’ walk to the beach, cafes, restaurants. The only thing we’re lacking is a weekly Farmers Market. You lucky thing! Loved this post.

    • How funny Tracey that our property paths have been so similar – and from what I know prices around Auckland have gone in the same direction as Sydney over the last few years – so buying off plan was a smart move! Thank you for your kind words on the post 😊

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