I am always looking for celery recipes to fill that void that a lack of celery dishes creates. An unassertive vegetable – it always plays second fiddle to other vegetables rather than feature in its own right – it deserves much more prominence.
This is a quick pickle is a perfect accompaniment to meals (I like to have a pickle with each meal, it balances the other flavours), and a perfect ingredient in other salads or even sandwiches. It keeps well in the fridge, so make a double batch. I like to add chilli and spring onions to the mix.
In this recipe, use both celery stalks and leaves. It is a beautiful pickle with a balance of salt, sweet and sour – and heat from the green chilli (which is optional). The inspiration for this dish came from The Backyard Lemon Tree– I have tweaked it a bit, so check out her original recipe where she uses it in a tofu sandwich spread.
Celery Quick Pickle with Chilli
2 sticks of celery with their leaves (remove any very dark green or yellowing older leaves), chopped very finely
0.5 fresh red or green chilli, diced
1 spring onion (scallion), diced
0.25 cup white wine vinegar
0.25 cup water
2 tspns sea salt
2 tspns caster sugar
Heat the pickling liquid and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Cool slightly.
Pour over the chopped celery, spring onion and chilli and let sit for at least an hour, or overnight.
recipe notes and alternatives
Some finely chopped or shredded young ginger makes a great addition to this pickle. Julienned carrot is particularly good too.
Other additions that also work – sliced garlic cloves, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cracked pepper, dill, celery seed, coriander seeds, and/or cinnamon.
Use rice wine vinegar in place of white wine vinegar.
The celery can be cut on the diagonal into 5cm lengths, instead of diced.
This pickle excels when it it mixed with other ingredients. For example, with ricotta cheese, paneer or tofu for sandwich spreads. With julienned Jicama and Carrot for a Salad. With a whole lot of Cherry Tomatoes, halved, and a handful of chopped herbs for a luncheon salad. Try a little mixed in with (or layered on top of) any of our wonderful spreads.
You can pickle just about any firm vegetable in this same way – carrots, cauliflower, peppers, zucchini, green beans, mushrooms, radishes, daikon, onions, beetroot etc. Make pickles of individual vegetables or pair them. You can make them sweet or more savoury, spicy or not – the flavour combinations are up to you and your taste buds!