I’ve never grown gherkins before and I hadn’t planned on trying them this year, but hubby and I were at our local garden centre when hubby spotted this sad looking half dead gherkin plant. Well I couldn’t leave it there could I?
We bought it home, popped it in our dilapidated poly green house. Watered it, loved it and fed it and before we knew it something spectacular had happened! It was like day of the triffids!
All of a sudden there were loads of tiny little gherkins and the plant was shooting off all around the green house. I had to tether it to the bars so that it had something to cling on to!
I had no idea we’d get so many though. We’ve literally had 100’s. I also wasn’t prepared for the speed they grow at. After giving quite a few away to our friends I set about making some pickled gherkins (or Dill Pickles for my friends in the US!)
I wanted to try and recreate the pickles that I get from the shops, I also wanted to make a variety of whole pickled ones (for use in home made tartar sauce) or as a side and I also wanted some sliced ones for burgers and sandwiches. I also knew that I wanted the pickling liquor to be clear so that I could see all of the lovely gherkins within it.
The recipe below is what I came up with. I think it would work well for any veg you wanted to pickle. As long as the jars are sterilised properly it should keep for couple of months in the fridge!
I discovered that the pickles are best if they are brined the night before. This keeps them crunchy and helps keep the colour. Unlike other brines these are not brined in a liquid. Simply covered in salt and left overnight.
Here are a few images from the process of making them. I’ve not written a step-by-step for this recipe as it’s so easy!
Images from left to right:
Top row – whole gherkins, slice really thin (or leave whole), lay in a sieve and add salt, layer up – gherkins – salt – gherkins – salt and leave overnight
Second row – Wash the salt off and lay the sliced ones out to dry, make the pickling liquor
Third row – Jar up the pickles and leave for a week to mature.
For other recipes on my site please follow this link.
Pickled Gherkins Galore!
A really easy recipe which can be adapted to suit the quantity of veg you have
- The pickling liquor can be used to pickle absolutely any veg you have.
- Approx 1kg of whole gherkins, mixed sizes
- Salt for brining so cheap table salt is best For the pickling liquid
- 500ml of white vinegar – I used a mixture of cider and distilled white vinegar
- 125ml of water
- 250g of caster sugar
- 2 table spoons of pickling spices (I used a mixture of coriander seeds, fennel seeds, pink and black pepper corns, a couple of whole Birdseye chillis, cumin seeds and mustard seeds, but you can use whatever you like).
- Slice half of the gherkins really thin (or crinkle cut), wash the gherkins you are going to leave whole.
- Start with the sliced gherkins and layer them up in a sieve covering each layer with a fine dusting of salt. Do the same in another sieve with the whole gherkins then leave both lots overnight on the draining board. Don’t cover them with cling film otherwise they will sweat. Instead you can cover with a tea towel.
- The next day wash the gherkins really well and dry. I laid my sliced ones out on clean tea towels.
- Whilst the gherkins are drying make the pickling liquor by mixing together all of the ingredients for the liquor above in a saucepan. Heat gently so that the sugar dissolves. Just as the liquid comes up to boiling point turn it off and leave to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Pack the gherkins into two large sterilised jars (I used 1 litre kilner jars and cover with the slightly cooled liquor. You need to make sure that all of the gherkins are covered and that there are no air pockets in the jars. Seal then leave for a week or so to mature. As soon as you open them keep them in the fridge! – Enjoy.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, for other recipes on my site, please follow this link.