In the old days before refrigeration, we used to eat a lot more pickled vegetables, mainly because it was a great way to preserve them.
But it was also widely known that eating a little fermented food, such as pickles, with your meals aids digestion. So popping a bit of sauerkraut or pickle on the side of your plate is not just about flavour but health as well.
This is a lovely, quick recipe which took me only 15 minutes to convert a telegraph cucumber into a wonderful pickle that goes well with fish and meat.
- 1 telegraph cucumber or two small cucumbers
- 1 tbsp course sea salt
- 1½ cups water
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 bay leaf
2 allspice berries or ¼ tsp ground allspice
1 Thinly slice (don’t peel) the cucumber – a mandoline is perfect. This should yield about four cups of thinly sliced cucumber.
2 Place the cucumber in a colander. Sprinkle over the salt and leave for 30 minutes.
3 In a saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, bay leaf and spices, and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
4 Rinse the salt from the cucumbers and, using your hands, squeeze out as much moisture as you can.
5 Place the cucumbers in a large jar and pour the pickling liquid over them. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for at least three hours before using.