Pickled Gherkins

The small immature cucumbers that are known as dills or gherkins require longer processing than most vegetables, especially if their deep green colour is to be fixed; they also need partial cooking. Select gherkins of the same size.


small dill cucumbers
brine, using 225 g salt to each 2 litres water
spiced vinegar


1. Place the gherkins in a saucepan, and cover with the brine.

2. Bring nearly to boiling point. Do not actually boil, but simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Drain and leave until cold, then pack into prepared jars, and cover with spiced vinegar, preferably aromatic.

4. Put on vinegar-proof covers.

to make homemade spicing vinegar

1. Add to 1 litre of vinegar, 5 - 10g of each of the following whole spices: cloves, allspice, cinnamon, white peppercorns, ginger. The smaller quantity will be enough for a mild pickle but for strongly flavoured ones such as onion, the full quantity may be used.

2. Put the spices in a folded cloth and beat them lightly with a rolling-pin to release their flavour.

3. Put the bruised spices into the vinegar and seal the bottle.

4. It may be more convenient to add a double or treble quantity of spices and dilute later with more vinegar, but label the container accordingly if this is done.

5. If time allows, leave the spices in the well-sealed bottle of vinegar for 2 months, shaking daily for the first month.

6. Strain out the spices carefully and re-bottle the vinegar.

to make quick spicing vinegar

1. Place the spices and vinegar in a heatproof bowl and cover with a plate.

2. Stand the bowl in a saucepan of cold water, bring the water gently to the boil and draw the pan off the heat.

3. Leave for 2 hours, taking care not to move the plate or flavour will be lost.

4. Strain the vinegar and, if not required immediately, return to the bottle and seal.

What did you think?

57 people have helped to review this recipe. Thankyou!

Worked perfectly
posted by Noel @ 01:51PM, 11/11/10
A simple yet effective recipe. Particularly useful for those of us lucky to have a free supply of small cucumbers from Thailand. The imported jars are horribly expensive from the supermarket.
posted by Berneice @ 08:21PM, 2/06/11
How Long can you keep Pickled Gherkins please?
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