Posts Tagged: pickling

Feb 11

Purple craze


You’ve probably realised by now that I’m something of a pickling and preserving nut. Indeed, any condiment is a goer in my book. I brought back a bottle of banana ketchup on a recent food mission to St Lucia – great with fried chicken…but I’m not sure what else.

Using the standard 4:2:1 ratio of water:vinegar:sugar leaves you free to go as mad or as plain with the spices as you like – you can add anything from star anise and fennel seeds to slices of ginger or lemongrass depending on what you’re pickling.

Give it a go – sliced chillies are just incredible – sweet with a hint of sour, with their fire calmed by the pickling: these are a huge favourite in Thailand, although they use a sourer brine.

We made kebabs at home recently; I say kebabs but we used the delicious pomegranate molasses coated lamb recipe in our archive, forked the meat into flatbreads with mint, yogurt, a spot of salad and a load of the incredible, vivid pickled cabbage I’d made earlier – and here’s the recipe: quick pickled cabbage

Jan 11

A fishy food story


One of my favourite food blogs and one I’ve brought you recipes from before belongs to Helen Graves – or ‘Proud of Peckham’ as her personal ad might read.

Not that she’d need one of course – she is forever whipping up luscious feasts for her particularly lucky chap and I read about them, hungrily, on her blog Food Stories.

Now, while we’re all trying to avoid eating naughty things post-xmas (and in my case, failing dismally), Helen opted to give up meat for January. And failed, I am glad to mention, dismally.

Still – post-failure she was back on track and turned her hand to the art of sousing – essentially ‘cooking’ fish in a spiced vinegar. A quick pickle, if you like – and a delicious, healthy and zingy, fresh way of serving fish – think really posh roll mops.

Anyway – in light of recent, er, failures I thought I’d bring you her gorgeous recipe for soused rainbow trout with pink peppercorns and lemon zest – a perfect way to restart a healthy January.

Chef’s note – you will need to use farmed trout for this. Large wild ones can carry parasites (as can many fresh water fish) and must be cooked before being eaten. You could try this recipe with a sea fish such as

Click here for Helen
Graves’ soused rainbow trout

Jul 09

A Gooseberry chutney cheese pleaser



What to match with cheese can always be a bit of a conundrum. Gone are the days of the well-known brown pickle, it seems, as in every supermarket and shop there are new types ranging from the ordinary to the weird and wonderful. Somehow though, the shop bought varieties are always too sweet or too sharp, missing the sweet/sour balance so crucial to a good pickle. Home-made is the way forward – and is rather easier than jam-making in my opinion. It is good to have an airy kitchen though, as the boiling vinegar can cause a bit of a pong.There is something distinctly lovely about pickling – maybe it’s the waiting. Once jarred, most chutneys and pickles need to be stored for several months to mature before use. While they sit I get ever more tempted, looking in on them regularly, checking them for the smallest variation until I can sit down to a proper lunch of good, crusty bread, soft butter, a good hard cheese and a spoonful of my latest creation.

This fab recipe comes from my friend Henry Herbert, head chef at my favourite London pub, The Coach and Horses in Farringdon. He is forever pickling, jamming, curing meat and baking exceptional bread. This pickle calls for one of my favourite fruits, the gooseberry.

Goosegog Chutney


  • 500g Gooseberries
  • 1 banana shallot
  • 200ml white wine vinegar
  • 200g caster sugar


Finely dice the shallot and sweat in a little flavourless oil (groundnut, grapeseed or a very mild olive oil) in a large, heavy saucepan or preserving pan.

Top and tail the gooseberries and add to the pan together with the vinegar and sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 45 minutes.

Pour into sterilised* jars, seal and leave somewhere cool for a month.

*To sterilise jars, wash in warm water then place in a 170°C oven for ten minutes.



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