Friday, 20 August 2010

Recipe: Courgette and Dill Pickles

I have had a lovely day pottering around in the kitchen. I've made 4 jars of Victoria plum jam and 3 jars of my favourite pickles. I've been tinkering with this recipe, I believe I have now reached pickle perfection!

A warning - these are as addictive as crack. If you love pickles then I'd urge you to give them a go, they are so simple to make. They are lovely with fish, especially smoked fish and wonderful on burgers or with cheese. I fantasise about having them with a pork pie. I think that would be heaven on earth. I have yet to indulge in that particular fantasy though. They are everything a pickle should be: sweet, sour and spicy. The dill gives a lovely fragrant Scandinavian flavour. Dill has very much been my herb of the summer, I just adore it.

Courgette and Dill Pickles

4 large courgettes finely sliced
1 large onion, finely sliced
course sea salt
450g of demerara sugar
500ml of cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of chili flakes
1 tablespoon of mustard seeds
1 packet of fresh dill (remove the thick stems but otherwise leave it in fronds)

1. Put the sliced vegetables in a colander. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of course sea salt, weigh down with a plate and tins. Leave for several hours. You will find loads of water comes out of them. Rinse the salt off and dry in a clean tea towel.

2. Heat the vinegar with the sugar, spices and dill until the it has completely dissolved and the liquid has reached a rolling boil.

3. Add the vegetables and simmer for just 2 minutes.

4. Put pickles in sterilized jars and cover with the pickling liquor.

5. Store in a cool, dark place. These will improve with age, but it is hard to resist the temptation of diving straight in.

(makes 3 jars)

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