If your fridge doesn’t boast a dedicated shelf for condiments and pickles, we might just have to question your life choices…
Our ancestors didn’t have much choice when it came to pickling. Preserving was a means of ensuring there was food to sustain oneself during the hard winter months. Today, we’ve got a renewed taste for that crunch and tang, bringing a world of flavour to our plates!
Rich and salty dishes cooked over the flames often call for something sharp to cut through – cue the humble pickle! Pickles are the unsung heroes of our kitchen, bringing an explosion of flavour, incredible texture, and a splash of vibrant colour to any dish lucky enough to be graced by their pickle-y presence.
And with an abundance of produce available over the summer months, pickles are such a good way of making sure nothing goes to waste. If you’ve got green fingers and grow your own, these recipes will help you preserve the harvest and savour those flavours long after the growing season has passed.
In this post, we’re sharing a selection of pickle recipes from our treasure trove. Here are three of our all-time favourites for you to try at home.
By far our favourite way of using the season’s glut of courgettes! These super crisp and tangy pickled courgettes are based loosely around the popular American bread and butter pickle. Adding a little sharpness and zing to all your smoked and barbecued meats. The pickles will last you well into winter if stored well in sterilised jars, bringing a little bit of bright summer flavour into the darker winter months.
500g courgettes | 3x banana shallots | 30g salt | 600ml cider vinegar | 120g sugar | 3g mustard powder | 3g mixed mustard seeds | 2g chipotle flakes | 4g ground turmeric
Finely slice the courgettes into thin rounds and place into a bowl. Peel and finely slice the shallots and mix through the courgettes. Cover the courgettes and shallots with water to barely cover. Pour the water into a bowl and add the salt, stirring to dissolve the salt. Pour the brine back over the courgettes and allow to brine for a few hours. Whilst the courgettes brine make the pickle liquor.
Place the rest of the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a brisk boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and allow to cook completely.
Drain the courgettes and pat dry, removing as much water as possible. Place the drained veg into sterilised jars and cover with the pickle liquor. Allow to pickle for a couple of days before using. Store in the fridge for a super crisp pickle, once open use within 3 months.
These pink pickled onions are a sweet, tangy quick pickle that is a firm favourite with our guests. They take just a few minutes to make, and it only takes about an hour before you can enjoy them — although, if you can wait a day, they get even better. You can season them with your favourite spices, or based on what you’ll be serving them with. For example, you could add oregano and nigella seeds for Mexican dishes, cardamom and fennel seeds for Indian dishes, or cumin and slices of ginger for Moroccan dishes.
2 red onions | 1 tsp salt | Juice of 2 limes | 50ml red wine vinegar | Your choice of spices (for example a pinch of fennel, cumin seeds and oregano)
Peel and finely slice the onions. Sprinkle over the salt and gently rub into the onions.
Add in the rest of the ingredients and your choice of spices, and stir through. Squeeze over the lime juice and mix in with the red wine vinegar.
Leave for at least 1 hour, then they’re ready to enjoy. These will keep for 6 months unopened, or 2 weeks in the fridge once opened.
A gently spiced, crunchy treat to serve with cured meats, grilled fish and a host of summer barbecue favourites. The sweet cider vinegar brings sweet and sour notes to the aniseed tones, and is particularly good with fish!
600g fennel | 100g shallots | 500g water | 80g kosher salt | 2 bay leaves | 240g cider vinegar | 1 garlic clove
Place the water, vinegar, salt, bay leaves and garlic into a saucepan and bring to a brisk boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.
Once the pickle liquor has cooled finely slice the fennel and shallots on a mandolin. Place the fennel and shallots into a sterilised jar or container and pour over the pickle liquor.
Refrigerate for 5 days before use. These should keep for 2-3 months (if you haven’t already eaten them!).