“Cool as a cucumber” still applies when the cukes are pickled. Even when spiced and brined, cucumbers add a welcome, refreshingly piquant note to meals featuring fish, meat, and anything fried. And pickled foods, being fermented, are really good for gut health.
We don’t do much home canning in the Middle East, but housewives still put up jars of pickles to set out on the table alongside olives and other salty/spicy foods, to whet the appetite before dinner. This recipe makes pickled cucumbers that are almost irresistible.
Sweet and Tangy Pickled Cucumber Chips
1 1/2 kg. – 3 lb. fresh, firm cucumbers
4 large onions
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 heaping tsp. ground turmeric
6 whole cloves
4 allspice berries
2 sticks cinnamon
3 Tblsp. – 30 grams – mustard seeds
optional: 1 -3 dried chili peppers, according to taste.
Use a large pot for this preparation. The vegetables take up a lot of room.
Rinse, but don’t peel the cucumbers. Slice them into thin circles; set aside.
Peel and slice the onions thinly. Set aside.
In a colander or sieve placed over a large bowl, put down alternate layers of cucumbers and onions, salting each layer generously before adding the next.
Drape a towel over the colander to keep insects off, and leave the vegetables alone for 3 – 4 hours.
When you’re ready to prepare the pickles:
Put all the ingredients from the sugar on down into the large pot.
Bring the mixture to a vigorous boil, then reduce the heat to medium.
Add the cucumbers and onions. Simmer them for 3 minutes.
Have ready a large jar. Put a wooden spoon in it to prevent shattering when the hot mixture goes in. Pour the hot mixture in. Cover and allow to cool.
Refrigerate for 24 hours. The pickles will then be ready, although they improve with a few more days in the fridge.
The pickles will stay crunchy and good for a long time. Enjoy!
Ever try pickled lemons? You’ll find that recipe on Green Prophet, and other pickles, too.