pickled cucumber recipe

Here’s an easy pickled cucumber recipe, for when cucumbers are at their very best.

We’ve got an overabundance of flowering fennel right now. It takes over quite a large corner of our garden. However, 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 like to use fennel fronds in cucumber salad. Served with feta cheese, they are delicious. However, 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. As such, 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 pickled cucumber recipes uses only a few fennel flower heads so there will be plenty left for the bees and wasps!

cucumber recipe idea

Before You Start

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.  The 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 preserving ideas
pickling and preserving
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!

Found this post useful?  You can buy me a coffee to help support the site’s running costs.  Alternatively, please support the site by sharing this post with your friends, following along on Instagram, or signing up for the free Moral Fibres monthly newsletter.