If you are staring at an excess of vegetables or fruit and wondering what to do with them, then it's time to discover pickling. It's easier than you may think and with these different pickling ideas, you'll have a range of delicious new ways to spice up your everyday meals.
Old favourites, such as cucumbers, carrots, beans and cauliflowers, are great places to start if you are experimenting with pickling. Try adding peppers, chillies or spices to liven up your result. Ploughman's salads, plain tuna, ham or cheese sandwiches will all be brightened up with this tangy addition on the side.
If you fancy going more adventurous, these other vegetables make inviting pickles that can be used for a wide variety of purposes:
Peppers – For a colourful side dish, appetiser or even as a pizza topping, pickled peppers are a tasty treat to have in the fridge. Include a few varieties in your jar and experiment with additions, such as garlic, oregano or mint, to get the perfect balance that is pleasing to the eye and the taste buds3.
Aubergine - A surprising, yet delicious, nominee for a pickle is the aubergine. Include garlic and herbs, such as mint or basil, in the pickling liquor to create a tempting Mediterranean treat. Enjoy with some crusty bread, feta and olive oil.4.
Chillies - For those that enjoy a spicy kick, chillies are an excellent ingredient to pickle. The results can then be used in place of a chilli sauce to add to heat any of your home-cooked meals. Vary the flavour profile with the addition of fresh herbs or even a few cherry tomatoes5.
Lemons – Citrus fruit is delicious when pickled. The harsh sourness is dampened, and the lemony flavour intensifies. Often found in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking, preserved lemons can be used in stews, curries, cooked with meat or fish or used in salads. A wide variety of spices work well in the pickling process, from the sweet fragrance of vanilla and cinnamon to the heady, spicy notes of coriander seeds or cardamom6.
Mango – Pickled mango is sweet, yet tart and makes a delightful, tropical addition to salads, fish tacos and chicken sandwiches. However, arguably the best way to enjoy it is just straight out of the jar7.
Tomatoes – Pickled red tomatoes make the most wonderful replacement for ketchup, just perfect for BBQs, pizza or with a grilled cheese sandwich. Including fresh ginger with the fruits, adds a gorgeous zingy taste to the final result8.
Grapes – Another unlikely ingredient for pickling, pickled grapes have to be tried to be believed. When marinated in a syrupy vinegar, spiked with cinnamon and black pepper, pickled grapes are a sublime dessert accompaniment or sweet snack. Try spooning over ice-cream or Greek yoghurt or enjoying alongside a cheese course.9
Last updated: 29 April 2020