Gill Meller’s Cucumber Salad with Dill and Apple Cider Vinegar

A bit of magic happens when you sprinkle salt over cucumber. It changes. Everything it lacked it is given; and everything it had, gets better. Once you have gently rinsed the salt from the cucumber, it goes into cider vinegar, where the hocus pocus continues. Dill, a herb I never seem to tire of no matter how much I cook with it, is a really key flavour in this simple but nonetheless enchanting salad.


1 large firm cucumber peeled and sliced into 2-3mm rounds
3 tsp salt
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp unrefined caster sugar
2 tsp toasted and crushed coriander seeds
1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
1/2 bunch of dill, finely chopped
4 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
A few borage, dill or fennel flowers, to finish


Place the cucumber slices in a colander, sprinkle over the salt and carefully turn the cucumber through it, trying to collect the briny liquid that’s drawn out.

After 25-30 minutes, rinse the cucumber slices in a large bowl of fresh cold water to remove the excess salt. Return them to the colander and let them drain off thoroughly. Place the drained cucumber in a clean bowl.

Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small bowl and pour the mixture over the cucumber. Add the crushed coriander seeds, black peppercorns and chopped dill and spring onions and turn through the cucumber, making sure everything is well mixed. Leave to stand for 30 minutes before serving with a few borage, dill or fennel flowers.

Taken from Root Stem Leaf Flower, available now, published by Quadrille.