Growing and pickling your own gherkins

We decided that as one of our experiments this year, we’d grow our own gherkins for pickling. Specifically cornichon de paris which I really enjoy on a sandwich.

A bit of research on the interweb made it all sound so simple and there were lots of recipes to choose from for the actual pickling liquor.

However, reality is rarely a match for the interweb, as we know, and instead of the small and sweet 2 to 3 inch long baby cucumbers, our greenhouse is producing these baseball bats.

I swear, we pick everything, turn our backs and there is another one.

So instead of the little pickles, we’re going for burger ready slices.

What you’ll need

  • enough cucumber (sliced or picked small) to fill a large (1 pint) jar
  • 180ml of white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 180ml of water
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • ½ teaspoon of whole mustard seeds (optional)
  • pinch of black peppercorns

Pickling fun

If you have picked your cucumber small you can pickle them whole, other wise, slice them thinly and pack them into a sterilised,  pint-sized jar. Well to be fair, it can be any sized jar, we just know that amount makes a pint-sized jar worth, but don’t let us cramp your style.

Sprinkle the chilli flakes, peppercorns and mustard seeds randomly between the layers of cucumber.

Now for the smelly bit

To make your pickling liquor, grab a small pot and add in the vinegar, water, honey and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, while trying not to keel over at the stench, then pour the mixture over the cucumbers in the jar and seal them up. Try not to get this all over the kitchen like we did.

Let the mixture cool to room temperature and store in the fridge. Easy easy.

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