I am in the zone to be talking and thinking about summer. The local weather has other ideas though and after a month and a bit of balmy spring weather I am this morning surrounded by snow, no electricity and fallen trees and chicken coups. It has been said that I don’t respond very well to change (love my family!) so here I am as planned talking about some great fridge staples, to brighten and lighten up your spring and summer meals.
This fridge pickle has been a favourite for the past few summers, easy,fast and delicious. When I went to get the recipe I found it was lost – forever! So here I am trying to embrace one of life’s little challenges and I will admit to varying levels of success with that. Oh well!
A little memory jog and a bit of kitchen play and I think that if this is not the same recipe then I have the old fav back with a few little improvements. This very pretty pickle is a great addition to cold meat meals, cheese and ploughmans platters, sandwiches, salads, buddha bowls… I also have some plans to add little slices of pickle to some rilette canapes. You can eat it within a couple of hours or it will keep in the fridge pretty much for a month or two, but it does loose colour with age though so i try to make it little and often.
- 1 cucumber
- 6 radishes
- 1/4 lemon
- 1 red onion
- 1 tablespoon salt
- fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, fennel fronds seeding herbs or herb flowers for garnishing the pickle in the jar
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- Optional dill/fennel/celery…..seeds
Start by finely slicing the first four ingredients, you can use a mandolin but hand cutting is great as you don’t need them to be wafer thin. The lemon I cut into wedges and try and cut as finely as i can, the idea of the lemon I got from my friend Grant when he made a Thai pickle and works to give an amazing lift to any fresh pickles.
Put them all in a bowl with plenty of room, add your salt and gently and thoroughly toss through. This can now be put aside for an hour or so.
While you are waiting for your vegetables, make your vinegar syrup by heating vinegar, sugar and seeds in a small pot to dissolve the sugar. Then set aside to cool. I will add here that you could replace the sugar with a natural sweetener such as coconut sugar or rapadura…my only reservation is one of vanity and that the pickle would loose its clean clear look so I will leave that option with you
After an hour tip your vegetables into a colander or sieve and rinse off the salt, shake this well to release as much water as possible. You could leave it to drain or tip on to a teatowel to dry.
All that is left is to layer the vegetables, fresh herbs, and vinegar into your jars top with a lid and store in the refrigerator.
Raw Beetroot Salad
My super easy raw Beetroot Salad has been with me for more years than I am prepared to admit and it is delicious, healthy and guilt free. I first had it made by a german girl who added sour cream. I lost the sour cream and have been making it and adding various dressings for years and find it is hard to go wrong. In this version I have added carrot, but that is a recent addition and by no means necessary.
At times I have used walnuts for crunch and feta or goats cheese works brilliantly as would blue cheese. Vary the mustard and oil according to what you have. Probably the only thing I haven’t played with much is the vinegar but I dont see that you couldn’t play with that as well!
- 2 beetroot
- 1 sharp/tasty apple
- 1 carrot
- 1 big teaspoon dijon mustard
- 3 Tablespoons Apple cider Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
Grate beetroot, carrot and apple and put into a bowl to mix. Add mustard, vinegar, olive oil and seeds and you are ready to eat. This is so delicious you will want to eat it it out of the bowl! It is very juicy so beware and watch for spills of magenta beetroot juice.