Cucumber, dill, and garlic pickle is a mouthwatering combination of flavours, a delicious treat ideal for hot summer days.
The vinegar sauce used in this recipe is not overly strong, to allow the flavour of all the ingredients to standout. The vinegar is diluted with water, and salt and sugar added for flavour.
The pickle makes a great accompaniment to salads and sandwiches. It is a treat to look forward too.
Watch How To Make Cucumber And Dill Pickle
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This fridge cucumber pickle recipe is one of my favourite ways of enjoying cucumber. The vinegar sauce for the pickle is not overwhelmingly strong, and is diluted with a little water, sweetened with sugar, and combined with garlic, salt, and dill to add flavour. The pickle will be ready in a week, and only takes a few minutes to prepare.
Cucumbers do not need to be pickled whole. This fridge cucumber pickle, named because it is stored in the fridge and eaten after a few days, rather than processed in jars and stored for months, uses any size or shape cucumber, whether homegrown or shop bought, and cut into wedges. I like the more intense flavour of homegrown cucumbers, that are less watery than shop bought varieties, but any cucumber will do.
Cucumbers are relatively easy to grow in a sunny and sheltered position. They like full sun, and are commonly grown in a greenhouse or polytunnel, but there are varieties bred for outdoor growing. Cucumbers are a climbing plant, with heavy fruit, and they need to be supported as they grow, and especially when the fruit starts to form. They come in many shapes and sizes, short and long, oblong or round, smooth skinned or spikey, and there are even yellow varieties.
The jar for the pickle needs to be sterilised. I do this by washing the jar in hot soapy water, rinsing thoroughly, and then popping in an oven set to a little over 100 °C for 30 minutes. The lid, or seal, is cleaned in a similar way, but simmered in a pan of boiling water for five minutes. I pop the jar into the oven before making the pickle, so it is ready, and still hot, when everything else is prepared.
To prepare the pickle sauce, the vinegar and water is combined together in a small pan, transferred to a hob over a high heat and brought to the boil. When boiling, add the salt and caster sugar. The boiling water helps the salt and sugar to dissolve. I turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, and stir the vinegar sauce for about 5 minutes to ensure the sugar and salt are fully dissolved.
The cucumber needs to be chopped into wedges, or sticks, approximately one centimetre thick and five centimetres long. The garlic needs to be peeled and chopped into small chunks. Dill is one of my favourite herbs, it goes excellently with fish, but in this recipe its light, mild flavour is a great complement to cucumber. It can be bought fresh in shops, but is also easy to grow as an annual in pots at home. The dill needs to be thoroughly washed, before ripping the delicate narrow leaves off the thicker stems.
It is now time to jar. All the chopped ingredients are added to the jar. I start by adding the dill and garlic to the base, followed by the cucumber, checking that the cucumber pieces are not stuck together. By standing the wedge shaped pieces vertically I find I can fit more inside the jar. The cucumber should not fill the jar, there needs to be at least two inches or 5 centimetres left at the top so that the pickle sauce fully covers them. The final step is to pour over the pickle sauce, an exciting step as it is possible to smell all the flavours coming together.
The pickle may smell ready, but it is best left for a week in the fridge to allow all the flavours to infuse together. As the pickle has not been processed, meaning that there is not an air tight seal or a second boiling process to kill all germs, the pickle will not keep like a jam. For me, this is not a problem! I like to eat the pickle within three weeks of making it.
Fridge cucumber pickle is an ideal accompaniment to salads, and in my view, best enjoyed on hot sunny days, whether in the garden or taken on a picnic. I think the combination of cucumber, garlic, dill, and the sweet vinegar sauce is wonderful.