Pickled cucumbers

Pickled cucumbers

By
From
Spring
Makes
500 g
Photographer
Andy Sewell

As far back as I can remember I have loved pickled cucumbers. My mother always had a jar in our fridge and we ate them as a snack with a wedge of sharp, tangy Cheddar cheese. Here the cucumbers are fermented using an ancient technique, known as lactose fermentation – in a combination of whey and water, laced with spices, salt and dill, in an anaerobic environment. This produces good bacteria, which in turn fight bad bacteria – so these pickled cucumbers are good for you! Their flavour is less acidic than you might expect, but truly delicious. Look for small bright green cucumbers with tight skins that are heavy for their size, without bruises or blemishes.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g small cucumbers
a few dill sprigs
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 tablespoons whey, (from making cheese, such as ricotta)
250-500ml bottled water
2 tablespoons coarse salt

Method

  1. Wash the cucumbers and pat dry. Pack them fairly tightly into a sterilised jar, scattering the dill sprigs and mustard seeds in between them.
  2. Put the whey, 250ml of the water and the salt into a bowl and stir well to dissolve the salt and combine the whey. Pour this over the cucumbers and top up with a little extra water if necessary to ensure that the liquid reaches the top of the jar. Seal with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Store the jar in a cool dark place for 2–3 days, then transfer to the fridge. The cucumbers are ready to eat 7 days after packing them into the jar.
Tags:
Skye Gyngell
seasonal
Spring
London
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