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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.34 / 5 (206 votes)

Prep time:
15 min, plus 2 hours salting
Cook time:
30 min
makes 6 300g jars

Guy Watson’s cucumber pickle is made with cucumbers, onions, salt, vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, cloves and turmeric – a simple recipe that’s great for picnics, sandwiches or served with cheese boards


1. Layer the cucumber and onion in a colander over a bowl, sprinkling with the sea salt as you go. Weigh them down with a plate and leave for a few hours. Rinse the vegetables well to get rid of the salt and drain off the liquid in a colander.

2. Combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, cloves and turmeric and mix in a pan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.

3. Add the well-drained cucumber and onion mixture and bring back to the boil for 1 minute. You may need to do this in several batches if you don’t have a big preserving pan. Mix well so the spices are evenly distributed and using a slotted spoon, transfer the mixture to sterilised jars, leaving the liquid in the pan.

4. Bring the liquid back to the boil and simmer until slightly reduced for about 15 minutes, then divide it between the 6 cucumber-filled jars, filling them to the brim.

5. Put on the lids and label jars with the contents and date. The cucumbers will be ready to eat after 4-6 weeks.

Recipes from Guy Watson at Riverford Organic Farm.

Like this? Take a look at more of our preserve recipes.


Tips and suggestions

Store in a cool dark place and use within 12 months, put in fridge after opening and eat within 3 months.

Don’t be surprised if you end up with more than fits in 6 jars, any leftovers can be kept in the fridge to be eaten over the next few days.

A little word of warning about turmeric- this spice easily stains skin, plastic and clothing so keep it away from all three.

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Latest Comment


My results look fantastic, but only four jars worth. I don't think it is the recipe so much as the cucumbers. I was using home grown cucumbers which are much more succulent than supermarket ones (not boasting, honest). However, I think a lot of bulk is lost in the salting process. Just saying you may need to bulk up.

nick.virgo nick.virgo  Posted 24 Jul 2014 11:04 AM

How long will the pickled cucumbers keep for?

EmmaJ22512 EmmaJ22512  Posted 19 Sep 2013 9:22 AM

Hi Alice,
Thanks for your comments. You make the sugary syrup first then add the cucumbers to the syrup in the pan for just a minute. Using a slotted spoon divide the cucumber mix between 6 sterilised jars and then return to the remaining syrup in the pan. Allow the syrup to reduce and then spoon this over the cucumber in the jars.
I hope this helps

Becs Good Food Becs Good Food  Posted 29 Aug 2013 3:16 PM

so you take out the cucumber and put into jars and then get more jars for the sugary goo?

AliceB76580 AliceB76580 Posted 26 Aug 2013 3:45 PM

AliceB76580 AliceB76580 Posted 26 Aug 2013 3:43 PM