We are not talking here the little vinegary monsters that you usually buy in the shops which taste of nothing but vinegar. Today I am inviting you to try a very easy recipe for the mildly pickled cucumbers.
I was delighted to discover that Waitrose started selling baby cucumbers recently, yes, they are pricier than the big sized comrades, but perfect for my recipe. In fact, I haven't tried it with the huge cucumbers. I don't know why with such a huge variety of tomatoes of all sizes in the shops you almost never see any variety in the cucumbers. They are all a standard size of a small weapon.
I tried growing my own a couple of years ago, but lost the crop, and switched to growing tomatoes.
This recipe is called Malosol'nye ogurtsy in Russian (lit. little-salted cucumbers) and they are ready to eat the next day. I've been consulting my Mum over the phone, as she often makes this dish for my nieces.
For 1 jar of pickled cucmbers I used
2 and a half packs of Waitrose baby cucumbers (150g each)
peppercorns (about a dozen of different sizes)
1 clove of garlic
a couple of black currant leaves
For the salty solution you will need
for 1.5 litre of water
3 heaped tbsp of salt
1 tbsp of sugar
Please note that I did several jars of pickled cucumbers and tomatoes, so if you are making just one jar of pickles you will be left with lots of the salted water.
1. Bring the water to boil, add to a biggish container and disslove sugar and salt. Let it cool, it might be tepid, but not hot.
2. Prepare a big jar for pickles by putting it in the oven preheated to 180C for 10 minutes, take it out and let it cool.
3. Start the assembling process by adding a few leaves of the blackcurrants at the bottom, one clove of garlic and peppercorns. Chop off the "bums" of cucumbers to speed up the pickling process. Add several cucumbers, then a layer of dill, don't chop it, just tear in half. More cucumbers and more dill until the whole jar is filled in. Add the pickling liquid - it should cover the cucumbers, put the lid on top and place the jar in the fridge.
4. You can eat the cucumbers the next day.
They are deliciously crunchy and have a lovely mild pickled taste. They are best served with the boiled baby potatoes. They keep well for several days, but the longer they stay in the salted liquid, the saltier they become, so I suggest doing a small amount of pickles at a time.