As a creature of habit, I have had cucumber sandwiches on the menu for the last week and have been exceedingly satisfied. A couple of days ago I decided to improve upon the quick pickle in the original post and this recipe for a mustard seed & garlic variety was the result. With their pungent aroma, the mustard seeds impart an earthy flavour with the sharpness of the raw garlic providing a hit of umami.

Erwin Wurm, Selbstporträt als Essiggurkerl, (Self-Portrait as a pickle), 2008
acrylic, acrylic paint, painted wooden platforms, 36 piece installation, © VBK, Wien, 2010

Erwin Wurm’s 2008 series ‘Selbstporträt als Gurken’ features a collection of 26 realistically sculpted and painted pickles placed on white plinths. According to the media release from Jack Hanley Gallery where the works were exhibited in 2010, “On the most basic level, the individuality of the pickles…mock the concept of a singular identity and Realism’s attempt at accurate representation.” Part of Wurm’s oeuvre consists of anthropomorphized objects swelling and bulging with rolls of fat, an example being his ‘fat car‘. The shriveled and crooked pickles highlight Wurm’s sense of humour present in almost all of his sculptures.

{Mustard Seed & Garlic Pickles}

Yield: 1 jar

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1 clove garlic, smashed and sliced
1 pinch of sea salt
1 cucumber, sliced
1 cup white vinegar

Add all of the ingredients into a large jar. Pour in the vinegar until all of the cucumber slices are covered – you may need more than 1 cup. Screw on the lid and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

Consume within 2 weeks.