Gherkin Relish - Preserving the Harvest Part 1

Gardener:Somerset Sue

Date:19 Jan 2023

Blog Type:Vegetables, Recipes

If you have a glut of gherkins (or cucumbers, these work just as well) one of our favourite preserves is a gherkin relish. This is a really easy recipe that thousands of kiwi's have used to preserve these prolific vegies for years and years. A version of this recipe is often used for beans and cauliflower as well to produce what's known as piccalilli or chow chow.

Any glass jars with clean, unrusted lids are fine for this. I like to remove all labels as it looks so much cleaner and nicer.

Probably the most important aspects of the recipes for these is to

a) soak your vegetables in a simple salt and water (brine) solution overnight. Strangely enough this draws out excess moisture from your vegetables and makes them crisper and crunchier in the final chutney or relish.

b) sterilise your jars and lids. I do this by washing the jars and lids in hot soapy water, rinsing them and then warming the jars in the oven at around 100 degrees celsius for at least 30 minutes. They need to stay warm in the oven until you are ready to put your pickle in as this will stop the jars from cracking with the heat of the mixture. I sterilise the lids by pouring boiling water over them and leaving them to cool slightly. I also work with a small jug and spoon that have been sterilised with boiling water when I pour the hot relish/pickle into the jars.

Gherkin Relish

1kg chopped gherkins

550 grams chopped brown onions

280 gram cucumber, grated

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

2 cups white sugar (sometimes I add more, I like a sweetish pickle)

750 mils white vinegar

1/2 cup plain flour

Dessertspoon mustard (wholegrain or hot - I like a bite)

Dessertspoon curry powder (mild or hot - whatever you enjoy)

In a food processor mince the Gherkins and onions. Mix together with the cucumber and salt in a large bowl. Leave to sit overnight.

Next day drain the excess liquid out of the bowl. Put the mixture in a large pot with the sugar and 3/4 of the vinegar and bring to the boil.

Mix the flour, mustard, curry powder with the rest of the vinegar (and a bit more if it is too thick) in a small bowl or shake together in a jar and then pour this into the boiling gherkin mixture. Stir immediately and keep stirring regularly for 20 minutes.

Pour into the jars as close to the top as you can without overflowing and then seal immediately.


This recipe can be played around with a bit... more or less sugar (don't be afraid to taste it while it's cooking), more thickening if it doesn't seem thick enough. 

I'm sure many of you will know this recipe but if you haven't tried it, it's well worth a go. This is so yum with any cold meat, cheese, breads and good old fashioned luncheon sausage.


Gherkin Relish - Preserving the Harvest Part 1