I have a lovely tomato relish recipe to share with you, as promised, some recipes to use up a glut, but I just wanted to share this very quick, very simple pickle, that is useful for using up bits and pieces, and is just very light and easy to eat. For myself, I am not a pickle fan, Mr T and the tadpoles are, but I find the flavours are often quite overpowering. This is not a true pickle as such, more of an infusion I guess. It will not keep for very long, but it will soften the harshness of an onion, deepen the freshness of a cucumber and enhance the mystery of a stick of celery, and above all that, it is just really yummy.
Makes one 500ml jar
1 lebanese cucumber
1 small brown onion
2 sticks celery
1 teaspoon herb flavouring of your choice (I used celery seed, but dill seed is lovely too)
pinch black pepper
Sterilise your jars as per the instructions in the post on Preserves - getting ready. This is very important for all preserves, but especially so for this as it has no cooking, no brining, no fermentation to preserve it. This is a fresh pickle, so it has a limited shelf life and you must be extra clean while you are making it.
Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and then slice finely, slice the celery and onion to about the same thickness, pack all of that firmly into your sterilised jar with the herbs and pepper, tip on the sugar and salt and then top up with vinegar, put the lid on, give it a good shake, take the lid off, top up again with vinegar, put the lid on, give it another good shake, take the lid off, top up with more vinegar until it is almost brim full. We need the veg covered in this, so I fill mine up to the brim. Pop the lid on, and into the fridge it goes to live out its short life. Throughout the first day, just give it a shake any time you go into the fridge. It will be ready for eating in three hours, but better still the next day. This will keep for a week or so in the fridge, if it starts to fizz or grow its own hair, discard it.
You can do this with any hard veg, parsnip, fennel, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower. It is just plain yummy.