Finnish Christmas recipes – Riitta’s dill cucumbers

Riitta dill cucumbers - a somewhat unseasonal but delicious addition to our Christmas table

Riitta’s dill cucumbers – a somewhat unseasonal but delicious addition to our Christmas table

This post is, for this blog, uncharacteristically unseasonal. Fresh dill cucumbers are more properly prepared in the summer months, when cucumbers are naturally in season, and one would turn instead to the gherkin at this time of year. However, mother-in-law Riitta prepares such delicious dill cucumbers that we make this one unseasonal concession here and add these to our Christmas table.

Sliced cucumbers are prepared in a solution of sugar, salt, vinegar, and water, with plenty of fresh chopped dill. They need to be prepared at least several hours ahead of time, and keep at their best for several days. Using the right sort of vinegar is important. We have made them with a wine vinegar, but the flavour is just not right. We have some bottles of a Finnish vinegar, which is clear, colourless, and without any distinct flavour – I am guessing that this is a spirit vinegar of some sort. Apart from finding a suitable vinegar, this is a very easy dish to prepare and is a great accompaniment to many meals, and fantastic on top of an open sandwich.

Sliced cucumbers in a sweet vinegar solution with lots of fresh dill

Sliced cucumbers in a sweet vinegar solution with lots of fresh dill

Ingredients

  • 2 medium cucumbers
  • 16g Maldon salt
  • 100g white sugar
  • 100ml spirit vinegar
  • 300ml water
  • 1 bunch fresh dill

Method

Slice the cucumbers, a few mm thick, as one would for use in sandwiches.

Place the cucumbers in a tub with a tight fitting lid and sprinkle over the salt and sugar. Put the lid on, and, holding the lid and tub together, shake vigorously, at least 100 times, until the salt and sugar are dissolved and liquid has come from the cucumbers.

Add the vinegar and water, and stir to combine. Finely chop the dill and add to the tub.

Store in the refrigerator until needed.

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