Quick pickles are fantastic for jazzing up a dish. They add character to fruit and veg and are a great way of using up gluts. They’re easy, fast, creative and fun.
The fruit & veg world is your oyster. Our favourites: carrots, plums, fennel, radishes, cauliflower, cucumbers, apples, cabbage, celery, pears, onions, leeks, spring onions, cherry tomatoes, courgettes, mushrooms, beetroot, chillies and summer stone fruits.
Thinly slice, shred or grate your veg. The finer it is, the faster it’ll pickle. Select a pinch of spice or fresh herbs to jazz up your pickle.
For every 500 g veg, mix 200 ml vinegar (any kind) with 75 ml water and 1 tbsp honey, agave or sugar (more or less, to taste) to make a brine. Pour over your fruit/veg and herbs/spices. Steep for at least 30 mins. For even quicker pickles, warm the brine, swirl the fruit/veg through and serve straight away. If completely covered by the brine, they’ll keep for 1-2 weeks in the fridge.
Delicious in salads, as soup garnishes, alongside roast or cured meat or fish, with rice dishes, Japanese food, Indian curries, in sandwiches, wraps and more.
5. Flavour matches…
• Courgettes (ribbons or coarsely grated) with a pinch of red chilli, mustard seeds and cumin, plus enough ground turmeric to give it a golden hue. Use cider vinegar as a base for the brine.
• Cherry tomatoes (halved) with 2-3 tarragon sprigs and a white wine vinegar brine.
• Onions (thinly sliced) with 1-2 sprigs of rosemary and a balsamic vinegar brine.
• Apples or pears (thinly sliced) with a few slices of fresh ginger, 1 whole star anise and a cider vinegar brine.
• Beetroot (coarsely grated) with a few strips of orange zest and 5-6 juniper berries in a balsamic vinegar brine.