This is not how you eat in polite company. The slightly syrupy and uber-tasty liquid from the courgette and onion pickle is running all over my hand, which, in turn, is held very close to my mouth because of the imminent danger of my overloaded cracker disintegrating before it ever gets to the mastication stage. The rapidly fracturing components of my lunch are finally, and unceremoniously, shovelled into my awaiting gob and all that remains is a slobbery mess on the plate and a big smile on my sticky face…
…and after? Well, it seems only right and proper to include the recipe for the pickle. This munchy delight is taken from Bottling, Pickling and Preserving by Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz. Of course, she calls them zucchini pickles but we’re all talking about the same tasty thing.
Courgette and Onion Pickle
- 1.4kg courgette
- 450g onions (can use either red or yellow varieties)
- 225g sea salt
- 2.5l water
The Pickle Liquid:
- 450ml white vinegar
- 225g sugar
- 2 tsp mustard seeds (either yellow or brown or a mixture of both)
- 1 tsp celery seeds
- 1 tsp whole allspice berries
- Enough jars for about 1.5l of pickles
- Slice the courgette and onion thinly and place in a large non-metallic bowl.
- Dissolve the salt in the water, pour over the veg and leave for 3 hours.
- Place the ingredients for the pickle liquid into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Rinse the veg in a colander or sieve under cold running water, then drain and pat dry with kitchen paper.
- Put the drained veg into a preserving pan and pour on the hot pickle liquid (don’t worry if it seems like there isn’t quite enough liquid to cover the veg). Leave to stand, off the heat, for an hour.
- While you’re waiting for the veg, you can sterilise the jars you’ll need (so wash the jars, place in boiling water and boil rapidly for about 10 minutes, then dry in a low oven).
- Now put the preserving pan over a medium heat, bring to a boil and let boil for 3 minutes.
- Transfer the veg to the warmed jars, to within 2.5cm of the top and pour in the pickle liquid to cover. Seal the jars, label and keep in a cool dark place for at least 2 weeks before using.