The idea for horseradish vinegar came from Hungary – it’s quite popular over there. This dish has quite a kick, so try serving it with a Red onion, vintage Cheddar and sage pasty (see here), or anything else which is a bit rich. This recipe will make more vinegar than you need, but it keeps well and you will want to use it again. You need to make the vinegar first and allow it to cool; if you use it while it is warm it will ruin the cucumbers. Allowing the pickles to sit in the vinegar for a couple of hours will also help to develop the flavour.
As well as being a pretty useful salad, you can add the cucumbers and gherkins to a sandwich for a bit of bite.
3cm piece of horseradish, peeled
100g granulated sugar
500ml white distilled vinegar
1 medium cucumber
4 large gherkins
small sprig of dill, finely chopped
Using a peeler, shave the horseradish into thin slices. Put half of them in a saucepan and set the rest aside; be warned, your eyes may sting.
Now add the sugar and vinegar to the saucepan with 100ml of water, season with a good pinch of salt, then bring to a simmer and keep it there for 2 minutes. Allow to cool completely. When cool, add the reserved horseradish.
Take a slice from each end of the cucumber, then slice in half lengthways. Using a teaspoon, slide it along the seeds to remove them. Then cut the cucumber into 1cm slices, preferably on an angle to add interest. Put in a mixing bowl.
Now slice the gherkins into thin slices about 5mm thick and add to the bowl with the cucumbers. Sprinkle on the dill and add enough horseradish vinegar to cover everything.
Cover and leave the pickles for a couple of hours for the flavours to develop, then serve.