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Tuesday 10 July 2012

Sluttishly Vegan: Cucumber and Red Onion Pickle

This pickle is the crack of pickled goodness. There's usually a jar of this floating around in my fridge ready to accompany a pastrami sandwich, a juicy burger, or a slab of oily salmon or trout and it's brilliant on a cheese board.

I like to use cucumber, red onion and radishes (namely because it all turns a wonderful deep pink colour!) but you could throw in whatever thinly sliced veg you like really. Spice wise I've kept this one really simple with just a bit of mustard seed but I'll often add chilli flakes, coriander seeds, lavender flowers, saffron, celery seeds, basically whatever takes my fancy. I've also used fresh parsley flowers because my parsley plants have gone to seed really early this year, this isn't a bad thing though, the flowers are really concentrated and intensely flavoured so I end up using them in everything!

You can eat it pretty much straight away although it's best left in the fridge for a couple of hours at least. It will keep for ages in the fridge though and gets better every day. Some people insist on leaving it for a few weeks but mine rarely lasts that long!

You'll need: (will make just over 1 1/2 pints of pickle)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 red onions
  • 10 radishes
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 400ml cider or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds (the golden ones give a nicer colour than the dark ones but both taste great)
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • fresh herbs (I used fennel fronds and some chive and parsley flowers)
Make it!
    1. Thinly slice your onions, radishes and cucumber (using a madolin if you have one for a really thin slice) and put them in a bowl of water with the salt for 30 minutes. This will help keep your veg nice and crispy in the pickle. Drain and rinse thoroughly then dry on kitchen roll.
    2. Put your mustard seeds, vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and warm, don't boil it. When the sugar has all dissolved and it is starting to steam remove it from the heat and leave to cool.
    3. Put your veg and herbs into a sterilised jar and top up with the pickling liquid making sure the liquid completely covers the veg.


    1. Oooh, this sounds interesting! So you don't put any of the salt in the actual pickle, it's used just for step 1 and then you get rid of it? Also, how long before it's ready to eat? And (last question, I promise!) where do you keep it before you open the jar? Fridge or room temp? Thanks, I'll def make this, looks delicious.

      1. Hi Roxy, I just use the salt to brine the veg before hand to ensure it's all lovely and crispy. The salt draws out the moisture so any water in the veg doesn't seep into the pickling liquid. Despite rinsing it well you will still have some salt in there for the pickle. As I mentioned you really can eat it straight (I always have a bit!) although a couple of hours in the fridge will help the flavours mingle and it will turn pink. Just keep it in the fridge afterwards x

    2. It looks tang-fastic. Have you tried it without the sugar?

      1. It's also really good without any sugar, it all depends on how tangy you like it :)

    3. What size jar?

      1. I used a 2 pint Kilner jar, it filled it about 3/4 full. Whatever sizes you have really. I use old honey jars, sauce jars, pretty much anything really. I save lots of glass jars and their lids and just keep filling them until all the veg is used up. Just ensure that the pickling liquid covers your veg completely

      2. Thank you.

    4. After meaning to make this for ages, I finally did. Oh and it's pickle heaven! Thanks Hazel, I can see this finding a permanent spot in my fridge.

    5. Pickled cucumber's my favourite,haven't tried to pickle radishes but will give this a go, thanks!

    6. This is really good! Good stuff. Nice balance. I like the taste. Plus, it is quite beautiful!


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