Dunbrody cucumber pickle with rocket

A versatile and tasty appetiser


  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 red chillies (seeded and cut into very fine julienne)
  • 500 ml rice wine vinegar
  • 300 g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • good pinch saffron stands
  • 1 tsp maldon sea salt
  • 100 g rocket
  • olive oil, for dressing


  1. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and using a teaspoon, remove the seeds. Using a vegetable peeler, pare the flesh into wafer-thin ribbons and place in a pan.
  2. Add the onion, chillies, rice-wine vinegar, sugar, coriander seeds, saffron and salt. Slowly bring to the boil.
  3. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are completely tender and the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly.
  4. If you are not planning on using the cucumber pickle immediately, wash a Kilner jar or a couple of jam jars, rinse thoroughly, then dry in a warm oven. Stand them upside down on a clean tea towel.
  5. If you are using jam jars, fill them, then cover with a disc of waxed paper while still hot or else completely cold.
  6. Then seal with a dampened disc of clear plastic, secure with an elastic band and screw back on their tops.
  7. Simply secure and close a Kilner jar in the normal way. Label and store in a cool, dark place for up to two months, then use as required. Otherwise transfer the cucumber pickle to a bowl, cover with cling film and chill until needed.
  8. To serve:
  9. Drain the excess liquid from the cucumber pickle and fold in the rocket leaves, then lightly dress with olive oil. Arrange on serving plates.


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