Adapted from Alice Waters
I’m not really a pickle person, usually pushing that hunk of green to the side when I order a hamburger in a restaurant. But last week, preparing for the Supper Club, I got it into my head that smoked trout would be lovely paired with a pickle. I went to my trusted cooking advisor, Ms. Waters and all her fine cookbooks (but especially this one, for home cooks) and found exactly what I needed. Now I am pickling every vegetable in the fridge. The whole process takes about 20 minutes, then you can store your jars and odd bottles of preserved things and instantly feel very virtuous and crafty.
Makes about 3 cups of pickling brine, or enough to pickle a medium sized cauliflower, for example.
1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 small bay leaf
4 fresh thyme sprigs
Pinch of dried chile flake
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 whole cloves
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
Prepare vegetables into bite-sized pieces, or whatever size you like. I did mini florets of Romanesco cauliflower and red pearl onions (which I blanched and peeled first). You can diagonally slice carrots, use whole green beans, baby turnips, etc.
Put all the pickling ingredients in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Drop in the fresh vegetables, cooking one variety at a time if you’re doing more than one. Scoop them out when they still have a little crunch (about 4 minutes for the cauliflower, but use your judgement by tasting along the way), and set aside to cool. Once all the vegetables are cooked and cooled, and the pickling solution has cooled to room temperature, combine the vegetables, transfer to jars or another covered container, cover with the pickling brine, and refrigerate.
This is a most forgiving – and satisfying – recipe. Alter ingredients (make it more spicy or sweet). Experiment.
Thai Salad Dressing
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
I make salad dressings in a recycled jam jar. Add all the ingredients, give it a shake and add sparingly to salads right before serving. Omit salt, adding flaky Maldon sea salt (or any salt you have) just before eating, otherwise the salad wilts quickly and doesn’t look as vibrant on the plate.
Store unused dressing in the fridge for up to 3 days (citrus and garlic don’t store as well as simple oil and vinegar dressings, which will keep up to a week in fridge). Just remember to take jar out of the fridge a little before serving, bringing the dressing to room temperature.
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
A pinch of brown sugar or drop of honey
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or chopped very finely
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
1 fresh red chili, seeded and finely chopped
1 large handful of fresh cilantro and/or basil, finely chopped
Some of the many Ingredients you can use in this salad…
Baby watercress, tatsoi, mustard greens, rocket
Red bell pepper
Jicama (cut into 2″ long sticks, 1/4″ thick)
Raw beets (grated)
Fried, salted corn tortilla strips
Toasted pumpkin seeds