Spring vegetables are here: spring onions, radishes, baby carrots. And there are delicious in salad with a bit of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. But how about pickling them? It makes delicious nibbles or a zingy side dish served with a fish or cold meat.
Nutritionally, pickling is an interesting technique because it alters very little with structure of the vegetables and, as such, it preserves fibres and most of the vitamins and minerals.
I loosely followed a recipe from Thomasina Meyer's Mexican Food cook book.
1 head of cauliflower, broke into florets
4 jalapeño chilies, chopped in rings
2 red onions, chopped in half-moons
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled
3 carrots, peeled and chopped in discs
1 bunch of radishes, cut in halves
500ml white-wine vinegar
2 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp sugar
2-3 bay leaves
3 sprigs of thyme
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp peppercorns
In a large pan with a bit of olive oil, over medium heat, soften the veg (expect the radishes) for 3 mins, then add all the rest of the ingredients, plus 1/4 L of water. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for 1 or 2 mins. The veg should still be crunchy but they will have softened up enough to let the marinate penetrate. And the vinegar will have taken a lovely pink tint!
Let it cool down and then transfer into a large, sterilised Kilner jar. Keep in the fridge and let it mature for a week (or at least 3 days). And it shall keep for at least a month if not longer.