A pile of cucumbers in a container
Give Smashed Cucumbers A Tangy Flavor By Pickling Them
Smashing cucumbers loosens their flesh by damaging their cell walls, which makes them more receptive to soaking up sauces or liquids — especially pickling vinegar.
The craggy, uneven surfaces of smashed cukes are perfect for pickling because they provide heaps of textural interest to a simple solution of vinegar, sugar, and salt.
Persian or Lebanese cucumbers work well for pickling because they don't contain as much water, which helps them retain some of their crispness when they're pickled.
To smash cucumbers, hold the flat plane of a knife against them on a cutting board and press down firmly. They will splinter into irregular shards, chunks, and pieces.
Alternatively, place your cukes in a sealed bag and smash them with a rolling pin or mallet, which allows you to retain all their juices and add them to the pickling liquid.