When I say let’s get pickled, I don’t mean that in the way you think…
What I am talking about is pickles, proper pickles. Tasty, slightly spicy & tangy, and moreish. I want to learn to make my own. There’s nothing I love more than having a jar of pickles around, for when I really want one and normally I buy the brands we like and have a supply in the pantry, but I have never been brave enough to make my own (I don’t know why one would have to be brave, I think I just have a thing in my head that you have to be the ultimate domestic goddess to make home made pickles, and I am not one of those ;)) but apparently it’s actually not that hard. I adore pickled cucumbers, beetroot, a nice juicy pickled onion, and I am the only person in my house that will happily eat saurkraut straight from the jar and it’s time I learned how to make them myself.
Actually, making pickles is really not that hard. You need a good pickling vinegar and the ingredients you want to pickle. You can pretty much use your imagination, for that but I like a good basic pickled veg. I am very lucky to have several friends with allotments who like to give us their surplus veg and fruit and often have a pile of onions, cucumbers and other veg. So over the summer, I am going to get experimenting, and by the autumn, I hope to have a good few jars of pickles to see me through. I am also planning for Christmas. On my list of must haves for around Christmas time is pickled red cabbage. It’s such a good condiment to serve warm or cold with meals in the festive season, and I love it, and it is the one pickle my children will willingly eat. (I am working on expanding their palates on pickles!)
You need good quality pickling vinegar and a few other basics.
- 1 medium red cabbage
- 1tbsp salt
- ½ tbsp granulated sugar
- 450ml Pickling vinegar
- ½ small onion sliced
- Sterilised jars for storage
Cut the cabbage into quarters and discard the outer leaves. Cut away the hard central core and shred the remaining cabbage finely. Layer the cabbage in a bowl with salt then cover and leave to stand overnight.
In a saucepan gently heat the vinegar and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
The following day thoroughly rinse the cabbage and pat dry with kitchen roll.
Pack into a sterilised jar adding a slice or two of onion as you go.
Pour in the vinegar until the cabbage is covered then put on the lid. Leave for a week before eating.
Then try not to eat it all in one go, like I tend to do. (full recipe here)
Who knew that making your own pickles was so simple and so satisfying? Have you ever made your own? I would love to hear if you have any good recipes to share, maybe even ones that your family have passed down?