Bread & butter pickles

These homemade sliced gherkins are addictively sweet and salty – make a batch and enjoy in burgers, salads, or with cold meats

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:5 mins
    plus at least 4 hrs soaking and marinating
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 16
  • fat 0g
  • saturates 0g
  • carbs 3g
  • sugars 3g
  • fibre 0g
  • protein 0g
  • salt 0.4g


  • 400g Lebanese or Kirby cucumber (about 6-7 small ones), cut into 1cm thick slices (available at Whole Foods or from a greengrocer)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into thick slices
  • 2 tbsp rock or flaked sea salt
  • 300ml apple cider vinegar
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp celery seeds
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp yellow or brown mustard seeds


Bread & butter pickles

Apparently, these pickles got their name during the Great Depression in America in the 1930s. Pickles were very cheap, so people often ate them for lunch with bread and butter.


  1. Put the cucumbers, onion slices and salt in a sieve set over a bowl, and cover with ice and something to weigh it down. Let stand for 1-2 hrs in the fridge, then drain well. (This helps to push the water out of the cucumber, which means it will stay crunchy later when brined.)

  2. Meanwhile, put the vinegar, 200ml water, the sugar, turmeric, celery seeds, chilli flakes and mustard seeds in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins. Remove from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature. Put the cucumber and onion mixture in a 500ml- capacity jar or sealable plastic container, pour over the brining liquid, cover and seal. Chill for at least 3 hrs. Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.

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