Quick pickles are very fashionable now, and why not! They are both tasty and healthy. This is a Chinese recipe that produces a lovely, sweet-sour quick pickle of cucumber. Leave it to soak and pickle in the vinegar mix while you make the rest of the meal, and it will be ready to serve when you are calling the family to the table.
Oh the Greeks! How wonderful is their food. This recipe is a mustardy Quince relish where the Quinces are cooked in port or Marsala. It is divine, and we use it when we are making large plates of mezze style food – spreads and dips, pickles, olives, crusty bread, fruits, dried fruits, nuts, charred vegetables, and so forth. Recently we have been using our wonderful Cumquat chutney as part of this plate – a new batch was made late one night after a gift of these small tart globular citrus.
For this year, we had half a quince left after braising some Quince and Leeks yesterday (also very delicious served with our Cumquat Chutney). This is the very last of this year’s buckets of quinces from our good friend. Sadly, the house no longer is permeated with the glorious scent of quince, but our cupboards are full of pickles, chutneys, quince paste, quince leather, quince jam, quince vinegar and quince molasses. Glorious.
So, back to this half quince. It was cooked in Marsala, but sweet port can be used, or a sweet wine like Madrodaphne if you have access to Greek wines. The roots of this type of dish is probably English, but it is now common in parts of Greece. Dried fruits can be used in stead of Quince,or added with the quince.
It is glorious with cheese. Try some of this relish and some Quince Paste, with your favourite cheeses.
Quince is a beautiful, fragrant fruit that is definitely underutilised. This is a pickle using Rice Vinegar (although this can be replaced with other vinegars) and some spices. It showcases how beautiful quince can be.
Summer establishes itself, days are long, and salads are the dishes of the day. They feature on every table as temperatures soar. Salads are cooling, and no one feels like cooking. Picnics and BBQs are prominent and living is mostly outdoors, especially at the beach.
I hope you can find some inspiration here for summer healthy deliciousness. You can also browse:
- Indian Deliciousness for Mid Summer
- Summery Salads
- Fabulous Vegetables
- Vegetarian BBQs
- Hot and Cold Soup Recipes
- Goodies, Grains, Lentils and More
- Special Drinks and Sweets
- Dips, Sauces, Purees and Preserves
- Tips and Hints for Cooking in Mid Summer
Please let us know if you find links that are not working. We would love to fix them for you.
These sweet chillies are a variation on Sweet Chilli Sauce, – red chillies are simmered in a sugar solution until tender, and then stored in a glass jar. I will usually make small portions as it is an easy recipe, using a dozen or so ripe chillies from the garden. The preserve is then used over the next few days as an accompaniment to dishes. It is pretty delicious, especially with anything involving rice.
The syrup thickens like a jam or jelly, creating an interesting texture as well as flavour. The trick is to avoid over cooking otherwise you will have chilli toffee. The clearish jelly is strongly chilli flavoured, and the chilli pieces add texture and more heat. You will really enjoy this one. Today I used ripened chillies from the purple jalapeno chilli plant in the garden.
I love to serve this preserve on a cheese board (you have to be a chilli lover) and also mix it into creamy salad dressings.
Some years ago my friend Franz shared the recipe for a chilli jam he was making, and as I had chillies everywhere (in the freezer, on the bush, dried, drying), I made a couple of jars too. One I gave to my Thai friends, and they ate the whole (large) jar within a week. Oh my goodness! They loved the heat and the sweetness.
The other jar has been in the fridge all of those years. The reason is, we are always making chilli jams, pastes, purees…. There are always multiple jars open in the fridge and more containers in the freezer. This particular one came to the fore the other day when a sambal was needed for some okra with coconut rice. After the intervening time, the jam was still absolutely excellent (perhaps better for the maturing), and tasted incredible. I mixed it with some Chinese Chilli-Blackbean paste for an instant sambal.
Chatting with Franz, I told him the story and asked him to send me the recipe again. Catastrophe! Neither of us could find a copy! That made me search deeper and longer until I found it. Not wanting to lose the recipe again, we are posting it here so we know where it is! Please make and enjoy, it is amazing. I have tweaked the recipe a little to suit my preference and available ingredients.
A beautiful Punjabi pickle
Pickles are ubiquitous in India. Spicy green chilli pickles, Mango Pickles with Cardamom and Fenugreek, tiny Plum Pickles, yellow Cauliflower pickle, Apple Pickles, even Quince Pickle and Cumquat Pickles. You name it, every Indian household will have big jars filled with freshly made pickles sitting in the sunshine. This is a method commonly used to develop the flavours of the pickle and let them mature.
Making Indian pickles is so simple. Some are pickled in oil, some in an acid, like vinegar, or lemon or lime juice. It may take some time to allow the flavours to develop, but all good things take time.
Oil style pickles are common in North India, and salt and oil play important parts in the pickling process. Salt adds to the flavour, draws moisture out of the vegetable and inhibits bacterial growth. Oil acts as a barrier and keeps the vegetables moist. Different oils produce different tasting pickles.
Today’s pickle is a beautiful crunchy carrot pickle, made mustardy with the use of mustard oil and mustard seeds. It is a perfect accompaniment to parathas, vegetable pulao or any meal, really.
Have a look at other Carrot Pickles, and all of our other Pickles – our Chutneys too. All of our Carrot dishes are here. Or browse our Indian recipes, the Indian Essentials Series, and explore our Mid Spring recipes too.
Simple Pickled Radishes
Lucy Nourish Me is in love with the flavours of the orient – shoyu, tamari, mirin, rice wine vinegar, rice vinegar, kombu and much more more. She uses them with aplomb. Right now I am exploring radish recipes, and Lucy has a couple that remove the tangy peppery flavour and make the radishes a great vehicle for the flavours of Japan.
Lucy adapted this recipe from Jamie Oliver, and of course (can’t help myself) I have adapted it again. What a nice chain we make, linking recipe to person to recipe to person over time and space.
This is the quickest and simplest of radish recipes, honestly. I love the peppery tang of radishes, but these recipes from the East are a nice change.
Similar recipes include Chinese Cold Cucumbers, Quick Pickled Radishes with Asian Flavours, and Slightly Pickled Cucumber and Red Radish Salad. Also try Slightly Picked Mushrooms with Tamari and Sesame.
Radishes without their peppery tang
The little red radish is so easy to grow that kindergartens grow them to introduce children to the joys of gardening. It takes only 3 days for green shoots to appear, and a few weeks later they are ready to pick, these little red or white ping pong balls. The flavour is tangy, a little on the peppery side with its sharp pungency that pleases adults, especially with a sprinkling of sea salt. Perfect for nibbling, they also make such a pretty addition to salads. They are a bit peppery for kids, though.
Not surprisingly, they say that radishes have health giving properties – it clears the sinuses and soothes sore throats.
This beautiful recipe comes from Kylie Kwong via Lucy Nourish Me who adapted it from the original. I have altered it again. This recipe diminishes the level of radish’s sharp tanginess. It is the perfect balance of sweet, sour and salty. Use as it is as a side dish, or with a bowl of beautiful rice. Toss them in salads or into sandwiches. Lucy says that thinly sliced carrots also work very well with the radishes in a salad with some lettuce leaves.
I am not sure where I first came across Ousback’s recipe — he was very popular with Vogue Entertainment Magazine around the mid 1990, so perhaps it was there. Anders Ousback was well known as a lover of food and wine, and this relish of his was also well known and loved. He was influential in the Sydney food scene, and influenced many chefs and restaurant owners. This recipe of his has stood the test of time, and is as wonderful today as it was back then.
There were several variations of the Grilled Pepper Relish. The one below is the one that I love because of its freshness and the wonderful taste of the spices it includes.
I am sure the recipe that Anders used has provenance. You can see the origins in Elizabeth David’s Red Pepper Relish. And there are infinite purees and pastes of roasted red peppers, such as Serbian Ajvar, an Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Relish.
Similar recipes include Harissa, Roasted Red Pepper Sauces, and Red Pepper, Eggplant and Tomato Pasta Sauce. Or try Fennel and Lemon Chutney, and Char Grilled Banana Chillies Stuffed with Tomatoes and Spices.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can find other recipes from that blog in our Retro Recipes series.