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Pickled cucumbers by Tessa Bramley

11 September 2006

INGREDIENTS

(makes 2 x 1 litre jars)

1.5kg cucumbers
325g sliced silverskin onions
1 red capsicum, cut into julienne
40g rock salt
225g caster sugar
600ml white wine vinegar
1tsp dill seeds
1tsp celery seeds
1tsp white mustard seeds
2cm fresh ginger finely sliced
6 bird's-eye chillies
Sprigs of dill

This is an updated version of the classic US bread and butter pickle. Serve with summer terrines or "assertive" cheeses.

METHOD

Top and tail the cucumbers, leaving the skin on. Slice thinly on a mandoline. Put them in a bowl with onions and capsicum. Sprinkle the salt over the cucumbers and mix it in well. Transfer to a colander placed over a bowl. Leave for three hours, during which time the cucumber will disgorge some of its moisture. Rinse under cold running water, drain and pat dry with a clean cloth or absorbent paper. Put into a clean mixing bowl.

Dissolve the sugar in vinegar in a large pan. Bruise the dill, celery and mustard seeds either in a mortar with a pestle or with a rolling pin. Mix the spices, ginger, chillies and dill with the vinegar and cool. Pour over the cucumber and refrigerate overnight.

Either bottle or pack into plastic containers and freeze.

Tessa Bramley

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