New green pickled cucumbers are the essential partner for chopped liver. Commercial pickles have all sorts of preservatives and stabilisers added to prolong their shelf life and, although I’m (almost) sure that none of these will kill you, the fresh, homemade product is still the ‘old-time’ best.
This is an ultra-fast method that produces brilliant-tasting results, but it does not preserve the cucumbers indefinitely. These pickled cucumbers will only last a few days, so timing is everything.
- 2 x 1 litre preserving jars, the clip top variety with a rubber seal
- 1 litre of cold water
- 2 tablespoons of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of pickling spice, with any cloves removed
- 2 tablespoons of acetic acid (25% concentration)
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 4 fresh cucumbers, or as many smaller cucumbers as you need to fill the jars
- 6 large unpeeled cloves of garlic, cut in half lengthways
- 2 small red Thai chillies
- Bring the water to a boil and add the salt, sugar and acetic acid. Stir until everything has completely dissolved and allow this brine to cool.
- Carefully wash the pickling jars, rinse them out, then fill them with boiling water and leave them to stand for 2 minutes. Empty the jars and allow them to cool.
- Trim off the ends of the cucumbers, cut them in halves lengthways. Depending upon their size, smaller cucumbers can be halved or left whole.
- Check the length to ensure that they will fit into the jars. Leave couple of centimetres between the tops of the cucumbers and the lid of the jar.
- Pack the cucumbers in tightly. As you fill the jars, divide the pickling spice, garlic cloves and chillies evenly between them.
- Top up the jars with the brine so that the cucumbers are completely covered. Close the lids and store in the fridge until ready to use – they are at their best after 48 – 72 hours.
- When they’re ready to eat, cut the pickled cucumbers into spears, pieces or slices as you prefer.
- After more than five days in the fridge they will still be edible but will have lost their crunch and will be nowhere near as good. Where’s a chopped liver sandwich when you need one?
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