Retro Cucumber Relish

Retro Cucumber Relish

The saying “When it rains it pours” certainly relates well to my garden.  So often it’s slim pickings in my vegetable and herb garden, but when I do get a crop you can bet your life it’s a bumper crop! A few weeks ago I started drowning in cucumbers.

Home Grown Cucumbers

Home Grown Cucumbers


After I proudly photographed the cucumbers for my instagram feed (doesn’t everyone do that??). I started wondering what I was going to do with these giants.

Cucumber Relish "The Old Fashioned Way"

Cucumber Relish “The Old Fashioned Way”

There is only so much cucumber you can add to a salad or sandwich! Also, these cucumbers had been left a little long on the vine so they were slightly bitter.  I started looking through some old family recipes. Pickled cucumber and cucumber relish seemed the obvious choices as it would be easy to make a huge batch.

Cucumber Relish

Cucumber Relish

The recipe yields about 8- 10 jars of cucumber relish so make sure you have enough sterilized jars prior to  starting.  As I was making the relish I started counting off which neighbours would be receiving a little condiment gift… there was no way all of these were going to fit in my fridge!

Retro Cucumber Relish
Recipe Type: Preserves
Cuisine: Old Favourites
Author: Julie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 jars
Here is a traditional cucumber relish, it’s great on sandwiches and a cheese board.
  • 1kg cucumber
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 25gm fresh ginger grated
  • 5 chillies chopped
  • 15gm ground tumeric
  • 250gm brown onion chopped
  • 460gm brown sugar
  • 950ml vinegar
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  1. Thinly slice the cucumber on a mandolin.
  2. Sprinkle the cucumber with salt to draw out some of the moisture. Leave to sit for 1/2 hour.
  3. Prepare jars and lids by washing them in warm soapy water.
  4. Turn the oven onto 120 degrees.
  5. Once the glasses are clean place them on a tray and into the oven to sterilise.
  6. After 15 minutes turn the oven off but leave the glasses in the oven.
  7. Wash the salt off the cucumber.
  8. Combine the cornflour and water until a smooth paste forms. Reserve for later use.
  9. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a large saucepan and allow to simmer gently for 40 minutes whilst stirring.
  10. Add the cornflour paste to the relish and stir until the mixture has thickened.
  11. Remove the relish from the heat and carefully pour the hot mixture into the hot jars.
  12. Fill the jars within a centimetre of the top and put the lid on straight away to get a vacuum seal.

Once the last of the cucumber relish was safely bottled I asked Anais if she wanted to do the deliveries. I was pretty impressed that I had managed to use up a kilogram of cucumbers.  I really don’t like to waste food.

Retro Cucumber Relish

Retro Cucumber Relish

The resulting relish was so much better than the giant bitter cucumbers!

Cucumber Relish Recipe with Chilli

Cucumber Relish Recipe with Chilli

Adding the chilli to the cucumber relish recipe didn’t make it hot, it just added another layer to the flavour. The relish is absolutely delicious on a steak sandwich in place of sauce, I smothered my steak in it and loved every bite!  I’m sure it would go well with any meat or cheese sandwich.

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  1. There’s nothing better than nana’s recipes… This one looks perfect too.
    Unfortunately, I’m just counting seeds and making plans for my little garden, so no relish for a few more months for me 😉

  2. Thanks for an interesting great way to use up some of my cucumbers too Julie! I have soooo many needing to be used up, and I’ve already made several years worth of dill pickles. I’ll let you know how I go with it 🙂 x

  3. This looks like a perfect relish and one I want to try making. Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

  4. Now this is a brilliant way to enjoy cucumbers. Not big on them on their own, but a relish – Alllllll the yes!

  5. Love the spices and flavours you put in this delicious cucumber relish. I can imagine how wonderful this would taste on a burger or even some grilled chicken or just straight out of the jar. Sharing, of course!

  6. Ermm…do I qualify as a “neighbor”? ;P. The relish looks lovely!! How nice of Anais to do the deliveries, too 🙂

  7. Mmm, I do love a good homemade relish. 🙂 This looks great!

  8. You make homemade relish?! That’s so cool!!! With home grown cucumbers, I’m sure it tastes fantastic!

  9. What a nice recipe Julie ! I will do it this summer when I will have the cucumbers !

  10. Your cucumber onion relish looks so appetizing!

  11. Yum, this looks amazing!
    Melanie @

  12. What a great way to use up those lovely cucumbers. This sounds like a great condiment to have. I bet it tastes great in burgers!

  13. I’m just looking forward to the snow melting so I can SEE my garden 🙂 Your relish looks super—and the perfect way to use up any excess!

  14. We have this exact problem! What a great idea ….

  15. Fantastic gardening Julie, cucumbers are always such a huge harvest! My Aunty and I recently had the same issue (with my cucumbers) and made such a similar cucumber relish. Dare I say great minds think alike??? lol.

  16. Awesome! Can I also suggest a Thai style shredded cucumber salad with fish sauce and sweet chilli? It’s delish!


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