Pressed cucumber is a classic accompaniment to many Swedish dishes, including roasts, grills and, most famously, meatballs with cream sauce, mashed potatoes and lingonberries. It is very easy to make and keeps well in a jar in the fridge. It really is worth making some and using it as a quick and easy vegetable! Cucumber really has a lot to more to offer than a bit of salad garnish: try some pressed cucumber for yourself! John Duxbury
• Use a ridge cucumber if you can, as they tend to have a good flavour and a lower water content.
• Don’t worry too much about how long you press the cucumber for as some people don’t bother and others press the cucumber for 24 hours!
|1||ridge cucumber (or half an ordinary long cucumber)|
|2 tbsp||parsley, finely chopped|
|100 ml||(½ cup)||water|
|4 tbsp||spirit vinegar (5%), or 1 tbsp of spirit vinegar (24%) and 3 tbsp of water|
|2 tbsp||granulated sugar|
1. Finely slice a third of the cucumber, preferably with a Swedish style cheese slicer. Lay the slices on a large plate in one layer and then sprinkle over a third of the salt.
2. Repeat twice more until you have used up all of the cucumber slices and all of the salt.
3. Lay another plate on top of the slices and lay a large weight (at least 1 kg (2 lb)) on the top plate. Leave for at least an hour.
4. After an hour or so, pour off the liquid and discard it.
5. Put a quarter of the cucumber slices in a suitable jar. Sprinkle with a quarter of the chopped parsley.
6. Repeat three times, finishing with a layer of parsley.
7. Mix the water, vinegar, sugar and pepper in a jug, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
8. Pour the mixture into the jar so that all the slices are covered. Seal the jar and keep in the fridge for at least an hour or until required.
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