Pickles – who doesn’t love pickles? I’ve been a pickle fan ever since I was a kid. My pickles of choice back then were GeeVee sweet & sour pickles. I would consume these by the jarful and even drink the juice. Since then I have evolved in my taste for a preference for good dill pickles and am constantly on a search for the perfect dills.
More recently I have started to make my own and now have become something of a pickling queen. What began with classic dill-style cucumbers has now developed to pickling just about everything – no vegetable is exempt.
There’s always a jar of some sort of pickles in my fridge. They’re a delicious addition to salads and smoked or raw fish and are quick and easy to make. Even better, they can be ready to eat in just half an hour. I first tried my hand at finely sliced radishes and then moved on to baby onions and button mushrooms and fennel. Inspiration hit me when I encountered pickled grapes served with pate; they were a revelation and I thought I could easily make them. I now have a jar in my fridge which is always on the go. They’re delicious and hard to resist popping into your mouth. More recently I have pickled baby beetroot, finely sliced on a mandolin, these too are ready in no time.
The great thing about pickling your own vegetables is that you can make up just one jar at a time and you don’t need to do it days in advance – just an hour before hand is fine. The other day I bought some lovely cherries with the idea of pickling them. Alas, before I could decide on an appropriate flavour profile I ate my way through all the cherries.
Today I bought a lovely piece of sashimi quality tuna and decided that it would go well with some pickled radish, fennel and beetroot. On my bench now are two jars: one with the fennel and radish, the other with beetroot. Now I just have to wait until it’s time to slice the tuna and serve.
My recipe for pickled radish and fennel (and just about anything):
I like to finely slice my vegetables on a mandolin but you can just as easily use whole baby vegetables.
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
Place water, vinegar, honey and salt in a saucepan and bring to boil. Allow to cool before pouring over your vegetables into a jar. Add mustard seeds and chilli flakes. Store in the fridge.
This quantity makes 2 jars.
Makes enough for 1 bunch baby beetroot, finely sliced on a mandolin:
- 60ml (1/4 cup) red wine vinegar
- 50ml red wine
- 50ml water
- 40g (about 4 tbsp) caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 sprigs thyme
Place all ingredients into a saucepan and heat until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool slightly before pouring into jar over beetroot.