Sunday, 30 October 2016


There is always two firm camps when it comes to gherkins and pickles. There are those who will see one on a burger, instantly pick it off and throw it twenty miles away like its the dirtiest thing they have ever come across and there are those like myself who would happily sit and eat their way through a whole jar of them. With Christmas just around the corner, we thought it would be a good time to make another batch of Jon's yummy cucumbers pickled with oodles of dill and spices. Are they as good as shop bought pickles? They are better!

These pickled cucumbers make a great addition to any homemade Christmas hampers you might be making. Don't just stop with pickling cucumbers though! Pickling is a great way of preserving and adding flavor to any veg you have that might otherwise be going to waste. Why not slice a few carrots, baby onions, cauliflower, you could use almost anything really and by doing this you will extend their life by a good few weeks and turn them into fabulous additions to a cheese board or a burger. See what what you have and get them pickling away!

For the pickling vinegar you can of course just boil up the vinegar, salt and water as is and pour it over the cucumbers on their own if you just want to get make a simple and quick pickle but it really pays to add some herbs and spices to the jars as I have here with the garlic, dill, chili, mustard seeds and szechuan peppercorns. This will really pump some flavour into the cucumbers as they pickle. Again, this recipe is totally up for your own interpretation so if you're not a spice fan, leave out the chili. Don't like dill, leave it out. It's so easy to mix things up to suit your own tastes. 

The recipe below gives a really punchy kick to your pickled veg with the chili and Szechaun peppercorns so if your not averse to a bit of heat then I implore you to give it a whirl and be prepared to be in pickle paradise! It will make enough to fill around 3 litres worth of sterilized jars and you can scale up or down the recipe if you wish, it won't effect the flavors or timings.

Dill Pickles

6 Peeled And Crushed Garlic Cloves
5 Tbsp Dill Sprigs
10 Small Dried Red Chilies
5 Chopped Bird's Eye Chilies
5 Tsp Mustard Seeds
5 Tsp Szechuan Peppercorns
30 Sliced Baby Cucumbers
750ml Cider Vinegar
4 Tbsp Sea Salt

  1. Take your sterilized jars and pop in the garlic, dill, chilies, mustard seeds and peppercorns and then place in the sliced cucumbers. Leave to one side.
  2. In a large pan, pour in the vinegar and salt with 750ml of water, bring to the boil and then leave it to bubble away ferociously for 2 minutes (be very careful!).
  3. Take the hot liquid and carefully pour it into the jars with the cucumbers and spices. Seal the jars immediately.
With that you should now let the pickles rest for at least two days to allow the tang of the vinegar and the array of flavors from the dill and spices to really infuse into the cucumbers. Of course the longer you leave them then the more intense those flavors will be so be prepared for a punchy flavor if you leave them for any longer than two weeks. When you're ready to tuck in, open up your jar and then consume the contents within two weeks, storing them in the fridge to keep them as fresh as possible. Slap the pickled cucumbers on a burger or chop them into my comfort day butties for a delicious chili dilly pickle treat.

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