Category

Summer

Food & Drink, Summer

Pickled Cucumber Recipe with Fennel Flowers

pickled cucumber recipe

pickled cucumber recipe

We’ve got an over abundance of flowering fennel right now. It  takes over quite a large corner of our garden but rather than dig up the bulbs to eat, the flowering fennel is something we want to keep –  the bees and wasps absolutely love it.  As well as helping wildlife, attracting wasps to our garden helps keep our caterpillar population at a minimum – companion planting for the win!

I don’t use much fennel in my cooking.  I like  to use fennel fronds in cucumber salad – served with feta cheese it’s delicious, but I’ve never done anything with fennel flowers.  I’ve always wondered if I could perhaps share the fennel flowers with the bees and wasps, and I thought about pickling cucumbers with fennel instead of traditional dill.  I gave it a go and was pretty delighted with the results.  So delighted in fact that I thought I’d share the pickled cucumber recipe with you guys.  The fennel gives the pickled cucumber that extra flavour hit.  And the good thing is the recipes uses only a few flower heads so there will be plenty left for the bees and wasps!

cucumber recipe idea

One note before you get started – I made one large jar and five small jars of cucumber pickle, so make sure you’ve got enough jars to hand for your pickled cucumber!  You also want to ensure your lids are vinegar proof – meaning there isn’t any metal that can touch the vinegar.  If you don’t use vinegar proof lids, the vinegar can react with the metal lid, giving the pickled cucumber a metallic taste.

If you’re using old jars that you’re recycling then look for lids with a plastic lining in them.  They good thing is if you’re using jars that previously contained any kind of pickle, chutney, mayonnaise or tomato sauce then the lids are sure to be vinegar proof.  The only lids I’ve seen which aren’t vinegar proof tend to be lids from honey jars.  Kilner clip jars are also good for pickle making.

summer recipe ideas
pickling cucumbers
pickled cucumber with fennel

Easy Pickled Cucumber Recipe with Fennel Flowers

adapted from Debora Robertson

Easy Pickled Cucumber Recipe with Fennel Flowers

This delicious and easy pickled cucumber recipe with fennel is so easy to prepare and perfect for adding a touch of summer flavour to any meal.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 jars

Ingredients

  • 3 cucumbers
  • 500 ml cider vinegar
  • 400 ml white wine vinegar
  • 120 ml water
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoons peppercorns
  • 6 garlic cloves finely sliced
  • 2-3 tablespoons salt

Instructions

  1. Slice the ends of off your cucumbers and discard, then slice the cucumbers into coins, roughly 1.5cm thick.
  2. Sprinkle salt on a plate and cover the plate with one layer of the slices of cucumber. Sprinkle salt on top of that layer then add another layer of cucumber on top. Continue salting and layering your cucumber until all of your cucumber has been salted. I ended up using two plates. Leave for two hours to macerate.
  3. Whilst you are waiting on your cucumbers to macerate it's best to make the pickling brine. To do this it's really easy - simply add the vinegars, water, sugar, garlic slices,, mustard seeds and peppercorns to a pot and heat gently over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Once you've done this leave this mixture to cool.
  4. After about 1 hour and forty minutes sterilise your jars and lids. To sterilise jars see this guide to sterilising jars.
  5. Once your two hours is up rinse the salted cucumbers and pat dry with clean tea towels.
  6. Place the cucumbers into your jars and evenly divide your fennel flowers between the jars. Pour the brine over the cucumbers and fennel, leaving just half a centimetre from the lid of the jar. Seal and leave in a cool dark place for 48 hours at the absolute least, but preferably a week. The longer you leave it the greater the taste, so patience really is a virtue!
  7. The jars should keep for around 3 months unopened. If you want you can place your sealed jars in a bath of boiling water for 5 minutes to process them - this should mean they will keep for around a year, unopened. They do soften a bit using this method.
  8. Once opened, keep your pickles in the fridge and use within a fortnight.

I hope you enjoy this easy pickled cucumber recipe!  It’s definitely a firm favourite in our house!

Food & Drink, Summer

Fruit and Vegetables in Season In August

what's in season in August

fruit and vegetables in season in august

Aah, August.  August is probably my favourite summer month, produce wise – the shops are just heaving with fresh local produce.  August sees cos lettuce, plums and raspberries at their best, but there are heaps and heaps of other stuff in season too right now.  Here is the guide to what fruit and vegetables are in season in August – and don’t forget to print off the free printer friendly version of this list to help you buy British when you’re at the shops.  You can find it here: Fruit and Vegetables in Season in August.

fruit in season in August

Fruit In Season In August

Blackberries (try this blackberry and vanilla jam, and also tips on how to make berries last longer)

Bilberries

Blueberries

Bramley Apples

Cherries

Gooseberries (try this Gooseberry Clafoutis recipe!)

Greengages

Loganberries

Plums

Raspberries

Redcurrants

Strawberries (recipes to try: Strawberry Scones; Strawberry Butter; Strawberry & Basil Cocktail)

vegetables in season in august

 

Vegetables In Season In August

Artichokes

Aubergines

Beetroot

Broad Beans

Broccoli

Cabbage (Red, Savoy and Spring Green)

Carrots

Cauliflower

Celery

Chillies

Courgettes

Cucumber (see this pickled cucumber with fennel flowers recipe – it’s so tasty!)

Fennel

French Beans

Garlic

Jersey Royal Potatoes

Kohl Rabi

Lettuce (Cos and Iceberg)

Marrow

New Potatoes

Onions

Pak Choi

Peas

Radishes

Rocket

Runner Beans

Samphire

Spinach

Spring Onions (see this handy guide on how to store spring onions for longer)

Squash

Sweetcorn

Tomatoes

Turnips

Watercress

herbs in season in august

Herbs In Season In August

Basil

Chervil

Chives

Coriander

Dill

Oregano

Mint

Parsley (curly and flat-leafed)

Rosemary

Sage

Sorrel

Tarragon

Thyme

What are you planning on cooking or baking this month?  I’m all about the cucumber and raspberries this month – I cannot get enough of either!

Images from: PixabayWikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and Pixabay.