Quick pickled vegetables

This is a very quick and easy pickling recipe that gives vegetables a mere kick of being preserved. I make up small batches of these and keep them in the fridge, but I usually finish them off within a couple of days!

These lightly pickled vegetables are great eaten as they are, with cheese, or to have a few as an accompaniment for fish: pickled cucumber slices are particularly stunning with smoked salmon or poached salmon. I sometimes like to add a small handful of lightly pickled onions and cauliflower to a macaroni cheese to add extra crunch and to cut through the richness of the cheese, and I love using a little pickled cauliflower in my vegetable suet puddings.

Vinegar that is left-over from jars of pickled shallots and the like is excellent when diluted with water to make quick pickled vegetables, although you can simply use good quality cider or wine vinegar. However, malt is too strong and I feel it almost kills the flavour of the vegetables.

Vegetables that are particularly great here are cauliflower, cucumbers, courgettes, carrots, onions and radishes. However, for this quick pickling approach don’t let vegetables such as cucumber and courgettes bathe in the pickling liquor too long as they go mushy.

You can also add chilli flakes (or finely chopped fresh chilli), crushed mustard seeds, coriander seeds, fresh tarragon etc…to the liquor to infuse it a little with extra flavour.

Quick pickled vegetables

  • 100ml vinegar (cider, wine etc.. but not malt)
  • 30ml water
  • 30g sugar
  • fresh vegetables, chopped small or thinly sliced

(1) Heat the vinegar, water and sugar gently until the sugar dissolves. Pour this liquid onto the thinly sliced raw vegetables and leave to macerate for at least couple of hours.

(2) Remove the vegetables from their liquor when serving.


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