Gherkin is a long and hairy green colored vegetable that is very high in water content. Similar to the cucumber, this vegetable generally grows to 4cm to 8cm. It is available in mild and tangy varieties. Though these vegetables are traditionally pickled in vinegar, the “dill pickle” is one of the more popular recipes, the other being “parisienne salad”. Rich in vitamins and minerals, this particular vegetable is very high in sodium content which is equivalent to our daily recommended dosage. Even though European countries such as Germany, Netherlands and UK, are the major consumers of the vegetable, India and China are the main producers of this vegetable, followed by Spain, and Turkey.
History of Gherkin Recipes
Gherkin is believed to have its origin in Europe and was widely used in the European, especially Eastern European cuisine. However, with Europeans settling in our countries, this vegetable is now popular in other cuisines as well. Cornichon is the term used for this hairy vegetable in France; however, the pickle mixtures of the vegetable are made from the immature fruits of the cucumber family. Various countries such as Britain, France, Germany and even certain parts of the US include recipes of the vegetable in the cuisines and most main course dishes are usually accompanied by pickle of this vegetable.
Culinary Uses of Gherkins
This vegetable has a primary culinary use and that is in the pickled form, especially pickled in vinegar and dill. Other than being pickled, this vegetable is also common in salads. The crunchy slices of the vegetable juxtapose very well with the softer vegetables such as potatoes, leftovers of stew, shallots and boiled eggs. The pickled version of the vegetable is a regular inclusion in sandwiches and bread rolls.
Popular Recipes that use Gherkins
This green vegetable is popular for its pickles and salads and some popular recipes of this tiny green vegetable are –
Dill Pickle – This is one of the most popular recipes of this vegetable, which is generally served as an accompaniment with many main course dishes that range from meats to vegetables and even breads. The pickle gets its flavor from dill which is the main ingredient. Other than this, dried red pepper, garlic cloves, vinegar, whole mixed pickling spices, water and salt are the other ingredients that add flavor to the pickle.
Sweet Gherkins – This sweet pickle gets its taste and flavor from vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, cinnamon and ground cloves. All ingredients except the sugar are mixed and the vegetable is added to the mixture (after the hair on the vegetable has been cleaned). Sugar is added gradually over a period of time (over many days). This pickle stays crisp for a long time.
Cheesy Gherkin Ham Rollups – This is a very tasty snack that is made with ham slice, sweet gherkin and cheese. Pieces of the vegetable are placed on the ham slice and topped with cheese. The ham slice is then rolled over and held in place with a toothpick. The rollups are ready to be served.
Cuisines that include Gherkin Recipes
The recipes of this green vegetable are popular in the cuisines of Britain, France, Germany and Netherlands.
Gherkins’ Consumption Criteria
Gherkin can be consumed by both kids as well as adults; while kids are advised to consume two small portions while adults are advised to consume four medium portions.