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Perfect Pickles

Posted on December 19, 2016

A good pickled vegetable can often be the perfect side dish to a delicious meal.

Both sweet and sour, it makes a great accompaniment to heavy food, by cutting through a heavy and rich meal with fresh, clean, zingy flavours.

Perfect pickled red cabbage with a festive twist is easier to make than you think.

First, finely slice 1kg of red cabbage and two red onions. Cover with salt, loosely cover with a clean teatowel and leave overnight.

Once salted for at least 12 hours, rinse to remove the salt, pat dry with kitchen towels and set aside.

Meantime, in a pan, mix two pints of distilled malt vinegar mixed with a dozen cloves, some grated nutmeg, one star anise and a crushed cinnamon stick, and bring to the boil.

Once temperature is reached, remove from the heat, stir in six level teaspoons of granulated sugar and leave to cool.

Pack the cabbage and onions tightly into cold, sterilised jars, then pour over the cooled vinegar mixture, making sure that each jar has some of the spices included, then press down well.

Seal the jars with vinegar-proof lids, label and store in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks before enjoying with your favourite Christmas buffet cold meats and cheese, or to liven up the leftovers on Boxing Day.

If you’re interested in learning more about the art of making delicious pickled fruits and vegetables, why not join cook and food writer Lindy Wildsmith for a day to discover the basics and benefits of fermentation and pickling?

Learn how these two processes can transform fantastic seasonal produce into delicious and nutritious staples to be enjoyed all year round.

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