As is often the case, I was wandering through the shuk, with nothing specific on my shopping list, just looking for some good fresh produce. My gaze alighted on a huge pile of baby cucumbers and I knew in that instant that I had to try my hand at making pickled cukes. Quite by chance, I had an appropriate sized jar at home which was not in use and so I set to work, going through the pile, picking out the smallest, firmest, least blemished, straightest cucumbers available. I grabbed some fresh dill and garlic and headed for home.
The recipe that a quick search turned up, required very little more than those 3 ingredients, other than salt and vinegar. Since that first attempt, much briny water has flown under the bridge and I’ve played around with the basic recipe whilst never straying too far. My wife usually suggests tweaks to the basic ingredients – the salt in particular, and gives me feedback on the flavourings that I’ve used (the lemon that I used in this batch will not be repeated as a result!)
In any case – as per my mantra – quick and simple with no complicated ingredients – the only difficult thing is that you have to wait 4 – 5 days until they’re ready.
Enough cucumbers to fill whatever jar you’ll be using – cleaned and with the top and tail cut off
1 big bunch of dill
a head of garlic, peeled
salt – 2 tbsp for each 3 cups of water (this is an inexact science – we like our’s salty – you can use more or less)
white vinegar – 1 tbsp per cup of water (again this can be played with)
Optional flavourings – anything that you’ve ever seen in pickles – I used a thinly sliced lemon, a couple of bayleaves and some chili peppers this time round.
Put your cucumbers in the jar with garlic, dill and flavourings
Add your water carefully (you need to measure it as it goes in)
Based on the quantity of water, add salt and vinegar
Close up the jar, give it a bit of a shake
leave it on the window sill for 4 days giving in a shake daily