A knock on the door, and I was greeted by a neighbour, holding up a large whit plastic bag. “Can you use some apple cucumbers?” he asks. “Oh, yes please?” I reply. He then handed me the bag with 12 or so apple cucumbers inside. Another lady from across the road had told him that I cook, and she was sure that I could use them. I asked if he likes pickles, and promised to return some of his produce in a jar.
But then as I started looking at all the recipes for cucumber pickles, they all use green skinned cucumbers. Oh what the heck! I took a recipe, tweeked it to fit, and here it is… Pickled Apple Cucumber with Dill.
I plan to try them in a simple salad by draining them from the pickling solution, then adding some natural Greek Yoghurt, crushed garlic, freshly chopped dill and a good crack of pepper. I think this would be perfect with barbequed or grilled lamb.
When gifted some apple cucumbers I went looking for recipes to use them in. Unfortunately there are not a lot of recipes out there, so I had to get a little creative!
- 6 apple cucumbers
- 2 brown onions
- 2 tbsp sea salt*
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 5 tsp currants*
- 1/4 red capsicum
- fresh dill
Peel the cucumbers and slice into 1 cm thick rounds.
Peel the onions and thinly slice.
Layer the cucumber and onions into a large, non-reactive bowl, lightly sprinkling with salt between each layer. Cover with a tea towel or lid and set aside overnight.
The following day, rinse the cucumbers and onions under cold running water, and drain well.
Cut the capsicum into long thin strips.
Rinse the dill under cold running water.
Make the pickling mix by combining the sugar, vinegar and mustard seeds in a saucepan, bring to the boil over medium heat and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for five minutes.
Reduce the heat to very low, to the pickling mix hot while you pack the jars.
Pack the cucumbers and onions into your jars, adding one or two sprigs of dill, a few slices of capsicum and a teaspoon of currants to each jar as you go.
Pour the hot liquid over the vegetables and seal.
When cold, label and then store in a dark cool place
- Ensure that the salt you use is pure salt without any additives.
- As the skin of apple cucumbers is quite tough, they should be peeled before pickling.
- You will need 1 tsp currants per jar.
I almost forgot to save some seeds, but at the last minute, managed to secure a few that have been set out to dry before being stored in readiness for planting next season. Will they germinate and be true? We will see…
Until next time…
Happy gardening and bon appétit!