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When planting the summer veggie patch, I always plant Lebanese cucumber seedlings. I just love their sweetness, crunch and the fact they fit into the kids’ lunchboxes for school!

A couple of years ago we had a bumper Lebanese cucumber season in the patch. I mean we were harvesting about 20kg of them per week for a period of about 2 months…it was insane! The kids couldn’t take munching on them anymore by about week 4 which meant it was time to get a little creative and also give them away to our extended family and friends.

In terms of using them creatively, it was ironic that this meant getting back to basics and preserving! It would have been an absolute shame not to preserve the cuies to enjoy during the colder months when they were no longer in season.

This is where this recipe for bread and butter pickles was born. From what I learnt they were labelled that in the Great Depression when making the pickles was cheap and they were placed simply in bread and butter sandwiches to make the meal a little more interesting.

These pickles are such a lovely combination of sweet and tangy, absolutely perfect to jazz up sandwiches with cold meats, to serve alongside a roast chicken, or even to serve on an antipasto platter in their own little bowl!

In terms of simplicity, it doesn’t get much simpler a recipe than this. In fact the most difficult component would be sourcing organic Lebanese cucumbers seeing as though I don’t peel them here – the colour of the peel looks nice in the jar and also ensures the slices maintain a level of crunch.

I really hope you enjoy the recipe – please tag me and #mckrecipes on any social channels so I can see your creations and how you have used these little bites!

H xx

Makes: 2 x 350ml jars
Preparation Time: 10 minutes plus resting time 
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 6 medium-large Lebanese cucumbers, organic, sliced as thinly as possible
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried fennel seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, whole
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 fresh bay leaves, folded over to release their fragrance

Instructions

  1. Combine the sliced cucumbers, onion and salt in a non-reactive bowl. Mix together, cover with plastic wrap and then pop in the fridge for about 3 hours. After that time, rinse in a colander and then pat dry with paper towel to remove all excess water. Set aside.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a medium size saucepan and stir over a medium heat for a few minutes to melt the sugar. Add the sliced cucumber mixture and bring to a simmer. Once it has come to a rolling simmer it is ready.
  3. Remove and discard the bay leaves before carefully placing the mixture into sterilized jars taking care not to get any of the mixture to fall on the outside of the jar. Cover the cucumber slices completely with the pickle liquid. To make sure there are no air pockets in the mixture, poke a souvlaki stick around the jars trying to avoid piercing the cuie slices. Top with liquid if required before sealing with a sterilized top/ lid.
  4. Store in a dark dry spot for at least a week to allow the flavours to develop. It will store for months unopened in this manner however once a jar is opened it is best stored in the fridge.



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