Never plant four cucumber plants. A least not unless you have an army of cucumber addicts waiting to eat them. I, fortunately, have a spaniel who has developed something of a habit over the last fortnight, but it’s not nearly enough to arrest the growth of the Great G&G Cucumber Mountain. I picked 24 on Sunday. I resort to cocktails and pickle to use them up (not together you understand…though perhaps…)
Cucumber and Hendricks Martini
- 1 tbsp Henrdicks (yes, I know it’s deeply uncouth to write cocktail recipes in tablespoons, but I’m not furnished with the right kit for proper cocktail making etiquette)
- 2 tbsp cucumber water, see below
- a splash of Fever Tree tonic to taste
- an ice cube
To make the cucumber water, whizz several cucumbers in a food processor then sieve. Leave to drip for a few minutes and collect the green juice that flows out below. Don’t push the mix around or stir it in the sieve or you’ll get pulp in the water and a sloppy cocktail – disaster. 3 large cucumbers makes around 400ml and will keep for 24 hours. Or freeze it for cucumber ice-cubes.
For the cocktail, just pour the ingredients over an ice cube and serve immediately. I’m not one for delay when gin is involved and fussy cocktail making would do just that with little benefit to the taste.
- 1/2 glass cucumber water
- Splash of pear juice
- Fizzy water
Mix the cucumber water and pear juice to taste then top up with fizzy water. Deeply refreshing, appeasing green and quite virtuous for a mocktail.
When faced with a glut: pickle.
It’s the only solution and, come a bleak December morn, you can only imagine how delighted you’ll be to find cucumbers in the larder.
- 500ml cider vinegar
- 400ml caster sugar
- As many cucumbers as you can fit in a pan and still have the pickle cover them
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries
- bunch of fennel fronds
Mix the vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and place on a gentle heat until the sugar dissolves. Finely chop the cucumbers, removing the seeds, and add them to the pickling liquor with the fennel and the juniper. Pour it all into the biggest jar you can find. Unlike some chutneys and pickles, it’s ready to eat after just a few minutes marinating, so dig in. I love it atop a roast salmon fillet as you can see…