Pickled Watermelon Rind

We don’t often think about the rind of watermelon – do you? This year I have decided to pickle it, to extend our focus on lowering food waste and, as much as possible, using every edible part of a plant.

Pickling watermelon rind is quite easy but does take a couple of non-effort days. I have followed the non-cook approach, although some recipes do simmer the rind before or during pickling.

First the rind, sans the green skin, is salted overnight (soaked in brine), then rinsed and placed in a pickling liquid of vinegar and spices. It is edible after 1 hour, but is better if left a few days. It will keep indefinitely if stored in sterilised jars in the fridge.

In Nopi, Ottolenghi has an approach to pickling the rind which is pretty much the same as most other recipes. He uses the rind in a Watermelon Soup and also in a Watermelon Salad. They both sound delicious.

Similar recipes include Mango and Ginger Pickle, Green Mango Pickle, and Chinese Pickled Cucumber.

Browse all of our Watermelon recipes and all of our Pickles. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Peach and Barberry Chutney

We have a wild peach tree in the back yard, one that was here in the jungle in the furthest corner of the yard. It is only this year after clearing some of the wildness there that I took notice of it. It produces small, yellow-green fruit with a blush. They are cling-stone, sadly, and a tiny bit less sweet than the commonly available peaches. But it turns out that they are quite suitable for eating and cooking. Our first dish from them is a chutney relish made with barberries and lemon juice to add tartness.

Aromatic sweet laurel bay leaves bring out the warm taste in this sweet and spicy chutney. The pungent, lemony spicy undertones of ginger add another layer flavour.

Similar recipes include Pickled Watermelon Rind, Sweet and Spicy Tomato Chutney, Cumquat Chutney, and Green Tomato Chutney.

Browse all of our Chutneys and all of our Peach recipes. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Sauce de Tomate | French Tomato Sauce

France is full of sauces. If you are going to categorise French food broadly, you might say – meat, sauce, butter, baked goods. It is pretty accurate – one of my comprehensive books on French cooking contains 2 salads (and some vegetable recipes). To be fair, the salads can be the base for many variations. And to be more than fair, I have spent time working in France so know that there is a large variety of salads. But, yes, meat is the focus.

So, with a love of French food, we pick and choose from amongst the cuisine, and make to our vegetarian style.

This is a beautiful version of a Tomato Sauce – one to add to our many tomato sauces – and, like the others, it freezes very well. Similar to many French recipes, there is a base sauce, beautiful on its own, and a few variations of sauce that can be made with the addition of one or two more ingredients.

Similar dishes include Freeze Tomatoes for Winter, Italian Tomato Sauce, Another Italian Tomato Sauce, and Spiced Tomato Puree.

Browse all of our Sauces, and all of our French recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Green Mango Pickle | Mango Aavakaaya

One of my first tastes of India, smack in the middle of South India, was of a pickle that was hot, sour, salty, all at once. I grew addicted to that taste. While most non-Indian people love the Sweet Mango Pickle, I am a devotee of Green Mango Pickle.

This recipe is fairly easy to make if you can get your hands on hard, green mangoes – make sure that they are really green, and not a half ripe sweet mango.

Mustard seeds – whole or ground – are a feature of many Indian pickles. Not only do they taste good, adding a pungency, they are anti-microbial so certainly help in pickles and other preserves.

Similar recipes include Pickled Watermelon Rind, Lime Pickle without Oil, Green Mango Pachadi, Quick Mango and Ginger Aachar, Indian Fresh Green Apple Pickle, Mustardy Carrot Pickle, and Onion Strings Pickled Salad.

Browse our Indian Pickles, and all of our Pickles. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Preserved Sweet Chillies | A Sweet Chilli Jam

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.

Similar recipes include Green Chilli and Coriander Paste, Hot Sweet Chilli Jam, and Sweet Chilli Sauce.

Browse all of our Chilli dishes and all of our Preserves. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Hot Sweet Chilli Jam | A Chilli Paste to Die For

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.

Similar recipes include Preserved Sweet Chillies, Green Chilli and Coriander Paste, Chilli Jam with Deep and Complex Flavours, Red and Green Chilli Pastes, and Tomato and Chilli Jam.

Browse all of our Chilli recipes and all of our Pastes, Purees and Jams. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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How to Preserve Grape Vine Leaves

If you are a fan of the Greek dish dolmada (dolma) – stuffed grape leaves – or of baked vine leaves with cheese, you will be glad to know that you can easily preserve the young and tender vine leaves for cooking with throughout spring and summer. They won’t be salty, like the store-bought tins or jars of leaves, so they will not require soaking before using them. They can either be stored in a jar with acidulated water, or frozen. You can also store them in brine, for a saltier version.

Grape leaves can be added to just about anything – soups, lentil stews and dals, and rice dishes. Their most popular use, however, is in dolmada.

Use large, tender, light green leaves – pick them in Spring or early Summer. Avoid the varieties of vines that have furry leaves, but otherwise, any grapevine leave will work. Look for leaves that are free of holes and tears, and not damaged by insects. You want them to be fairly large, about the size of your hand. Also, make sure that you’re picking from vines that have not been sprayed with anything! The rule of thumb is – count down three leaves from the new growth at the end of the vine, and pick the next 2 to 3 leaves, then move on to the next stem.

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How to Make Strawberry or Raspberry Syrup

Suffering from a glut of strawberries yet? No problems. Make strawberry syrup.

Suffering from a glut of strawberries? Or raspberries? No problems. Make strawberry or raspberry syrup.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series. Or to browse our Strawberry recipes. Or you might like to browse Drinks recipes.

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