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


  • 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.
  • Add the onion, chillies, rice-wine vinegar, sugar, coriander seeds, saffron and salt. Slowly bring to the boil.
  • Then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are completely tender and the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly.
  • 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.
  • If you are using jam jars, fill them, then cover with a disc of waxed paper while still hot or else completely cold.
  • Then seal with a dampened disc of clear plastic, secure with an elastic band and screw back on their tops.
  • 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.
  • To serve:
  • 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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