Quick Pickled Cucumbers: An easy and very quick pickled cucumber recipe, which is ready in 24 to 48 hours. Perfect for that summer glut of small cucumbers. Serve these pickled cucumbers with cheese, charcuterie, sandwiches, smoked fish, hot dogs or burgers.
Using your Summer Glut of Cucumbers
I can almost sense and smell autumn in the air, and much though autumn if my favourite season, I’m not quite ready to relinquish summer just yet. There’s a definite cold nip in the early morning and evening air, and the swallows have left us already in North Wales, leaving a perfectly formed empty nest for next year, hopefully. The sun seems to be lower in the sky, and the leaves are just starting to change colour on the Virginia Creeper that covers the back wall of the house. But, as I say, I am not quite ready to let go of summer just yet, and we are still enjoying “al fresco” dining when it’s warm enough, with many meals being cooked over charcoal on the BBQ. Lammas Day has come and gone, which is traditionally the first day of harvest, and we are harvesting a few fruit and vegetables from our garden, despite only moving in seven month ago. We have had spuds, lots of herbs and the apples look to be a bumper crop this year.
We didn’t manage to get around to planting any cucumbers this year, but, I did manage to scoop up some lovely baby cucumbers in the supermarket a few weeks ago, at a discounted price too. We love pickled cucumbers, and I often make a batch for Sunday tea time, just as mum used to do. You simply slice a cucumber, add some malt vinegar with a teaspoon of sugar to cover them, stir and wait for about an hour before serving. It was a simple and easy pickle that was then served with our Sunday tea which usually comprised sandwiches, fresh bread rolls, cheese, eggs, sliced ham with an assortment of cakes such as fruit tea loaf or a fresh orange cake. There were always scones on the table too, either fruit scones or my favourite, cheese scones. Nowadays, I’m usually enjoying a cheeky glass of wine on the Sunday afternoon, but the only beverage on the tea time table in those days, was a big pot of tea, which if I am honest, is the only way to go with afternoon (or high) tea.
But lets not stray away from today’s recipe for Quick Sweet Pickled Cucumbers. These are based on mum’s recipe but use whole baby cucumbers. I have used white vinegar in this recipe too, and I’ve gone a bit spice mad and have added coriander seeds, fresh red chillies and some bay leaves for a bit of extra zing. These are what I call a “refrigerator pickle” and are not suitable for laying down in the pantry. They take but minutes to make and assemble and are ready to enjoy after a day or two. You need to use them within two or three weeks, but that’s never an issue for us as they have all gone by then anyway. You can of course slices them into rounds, but I wanted to create a sort of “gherkin” or “cornichon” appearance, as I had these lovely little cucumbers to play with.
These Quick Sweet Pickled Cucumbers are delicious, and although I have suggested serving them with cheese, charcuterie, in sandwiches, with smoked fish, hot dogs and burgers, I could quite happily eat them straight from the jar, with a long spoon! You can of course add your own spices and herbs, such as star anise, black peppercorns, cinnamon or allspice berries. And by all means experiment with the vinegar, such as cider apple vinegar, red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar. Make sure you take time to salt the cucumbers first, as this will result in a crisper and crunchier cucumber for longer. The recipe is shared below, and do let me know if you make these, and how they went down with your family and friends. Enjoy the rest of summer whilst you can, Karen
Quick Sweet Pickled Cucumbers
|Serves||2 x 300ml jars|
|Prep time||30 minutes|
|Dietary||Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian|
|Meal type||Appetizer, Condiment, Side Dish|
|Misc||Pre-preparable, Serve Cold|
|Occasion||Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentines day|
|By author||Karen Burns-Booth|
- About 450g to 500g small baby cucumbers (cut in half length ways)
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 600ml white vinegar
- 125g white caster sugar
- 4 to 6 small red chillies
- 2 to 4 bay leaves (broken into biggish pieces)
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
Quick Pickled Cucumbers: An easy and very quick pickled cucumber recipe, which is ready in 24 to 48 hours. Perfect for that summer glut of small cucumbers.
|Step 1||Salt the cucumbers first, this makes them stay crisper for longer; using 2 teaspoons of the salt, place the halved cucumbers into a colander and add the salt between each layer. Cover with a heavy weight or a tin and leave for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse the cucumbers thoroughly and stand them upright into 2 x 1/2 pint (300ml) clean and sterilised Kilner jars or jars with non-metal lids.|
|Step 2||Mix the salt and sugar with the vinegar. (It may be necessary to heat it gently to make sure it dissolves, but DO NOT boil and allow it to come back to room temperature before adding it to the cucumbers)|
|Step 3||Tuck the red chillies in and around the cucumbers, add the coriander seeds, then add the bay leaves, again tucking them in and around the cucumbers.|
|Step 4||Pour the salted sugar vinegar over the cucumbers making sure it covers them. Seal the jars and put them in the fridge for between 24 and 48 hours.|
|Step 5||Serve the pickled cucumbers with salmon, fish, cheese, charcuterie, sandwiches or with hot dogs and burgers. These will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge, they are not a long-lasting pickle.|
More Pickle & Preserves Recipes:
Winter Snack Recipe: Ploughman’s Rarebit – Cheese and Chutney on Toast with Pickles
“Scandi” Friday with Hot Pickled Herrings and a Dill Pickle Potato Salad Recipe
From the Autumn Preserves Pantry – Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom
Apricot & Orange Chutney from First Preserves by Vivien Lloyd
Goat’s Cheese Salad with Quick Cranberry Chutney
The Autumn Garden, Windfalls and Old Fashioned Scottish Apple and Ginger Chutney
Cheese, Chillies & Wine: Baked Camembert in a Box with Chilli Pepper Jelly (Recipe)
Anita-Clare Field says
You’re making me want to go and. Raid our stash for breakfast. Absolute staunch in this house too and made weekly for La Petite Bouchée. Tonight they’ll be served with cassoulet terrine for entrée. You recipe sounds delicious and I shall try it for the next batch. Everyone thinks pickling requires leaving jar after jar in the wardrobe in the spare room as my Grandmothetrs did, not so and I hope this recipe has everyone pickling cucumbers this weekend. Yum!
There’s nothing better than crunchy homemade refrigerator pickles. I really like the flavour balance of sour, sweet and a hint of spicy in your recipe. We’ll be at our market at the square tomorrow and I’ll see if there’s still some pickling cukes around.
Lovely classic recipe as I learned at mother’s knee in NE Europe . . . still make when time allows tho’ usually use very baby cucumbers and leave them whole. I guess chillies I love are usually not included in northern European recipes but will certainly grace my next lot . . .
Hi Karen, may I know is it 2 teaspoons after rinsed the salted cucumber? Or it is still 4 teaspoons salt?
Karen Burns-Booth says
It’s 4 teaspoons salt to soak the cucumber. Karen
johanna @ green gourmet giraffe says
your mum’s sunday teas sound impressive – no wonder you are such a whizz in the kitchen. we were never a family for pickles – I have tried a bit of pickling lately but sadly haven’t managed to get my daughter interested in them yet (yet!) but I would love to serve these with a ploughman’s lunch type dish
All That I'm Eating says
These look so good Karen, and so simple to make too. Great for some summer and autumn ploughmans!
Karen Burns-Booth says
Thank you – exactly that, and fab in Burgers too! Karen
Dems Banjo says
Looks great and very interesting. I am going to try it for my sister’s birthday, coming up in a couple of weeks. Thanks for the recipe.
Karen Burns-Booth says
I hope she and you enjoy them when you make them! Karen
Abigail Margaret says
Made these yesterday–small changes due to what I had available were regular rice vinegar instead of seasoned, and red onion instead of shallot. Turned out yummy! I like the flavor of the ginger-it’s something different.
I forgot to rinse the cucumbers after the salt, is that ok?
Karen Burns-Booth says
Hmmm they may be a bit salty – were they salty or okay?