Cucumber Relish Recipe

RECIPE FROM : Thane Prince, Perfect Preserves. Hodder & Stoughton (£25) 

"This relish reminds me of my three years living in North America, where the certainty of summer sunshine meant picnics and barbecues aplenty. Tall jars of relish were always served arranged on a side table with squirty mustard, paper plates, napkins and ghastly plastic cups of non-alcoholic Tropical Punch. "




45 min

Cucumber Relish

Ingredients list

  • 2 large English-style cucumbers
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 100g celery
  • 100g onion
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon celery seeds
  • 200ml 6% acidity white wine vinegar
  • 75g white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon water

Number of servings


Jar suggestion

Le Parfait Super Terrines

Le Parfait Super Terrines

All products


  1. Place some clean Le Parfait jars and their lids on a baking tray and then into the oven preheated to 100C/200F/Gas 2 for 20 minutes.
  2. Start by preparing your vegetables. Split the cucumbers lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Discard these. Now slice the cucumber into strips and cut into tiny dice of about 5mm.
  3. Place the cucumber cubes in a colander and sprinkle on the salt evenly. Leave this to drip while you prepare the remaining vegetables.
  4. Using a potato peeler peel the outer side of the celery to remove the strings. Peel the onion. Chop the celery and onion into tiny dice the same size as the cucumber cubes.
  5. Chop the chilli very finely. Crush the mustard and celery seeds, using a mortar and pestle.
  6. Place the celery, onion, chilli and crushed seeds, along with the vinegar, into a shallow, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive pan.
  7. Place the pan over a low heat, cover with the lid, and simmer for 5 minutes to soften the vegetables.
  8. Wash the cucumber under a running cold tap, then spread the cubes on a clean, ironed tea-towel and pat dry.
  9. Tip these into the pan, add the sugar, and cook over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved: the mixture should not feel gritty when stirred, and there should be no signs of sugar on the back of your spoon.
  10. Now bring to the boil and cook at a high boil for 2 minutes.
  11. Mix the cornflour and water together, and stir this into the pan. Cook at a simmer for a further 3–4 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the sauce has thickened slightly and no taste of the cornflour remains.
  12. Remove the baking tray of jars from the oven, and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  13. Pot the relish into the hot jars, using a metal spoon, and pressing down well. The relish should reach a little up the shoulder of the jar, leaving most of the neck as headspace.
  14. Put the lids on loosely and leave to cool.
  15. Once the relish is cold, check the lids are tight, then label the jars. Store in a cool, dark place, ideally the fridge.


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