BURNT MIXED PICKLES
A pickling recipe that combines the zing of pickle with the burnt majesty of the barbecue.
For the pickling liquor
250ml white wine vinegar
500g caster sugar
1 bay leaf (break the leaf to release more flavour)
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
For the vegetables
1 cauliflower, leaves removed, quartered through the core
2 red onions, cut in half (unpeeled)
8 baby carrots, halved lengthways
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 fresh green chillies, sliced
Get your BBQ ready for a direct grill – you want it to be hot enough to colour the veg. Mix the pickling liquor ingredients together in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then leave to cool to about 60°C.
Meanwhile, put the cauliflower quarters on the grill and char the outside to a nice caramel brown colour. Don’t worry about cooking them through. Pick off the outer florets and reserve (discard the central stalks/cores).
Lay the onion halves on the grill, cut side down, and blacken. Do not turn them or cook through. Remove the skin, then slice each of the halves in half and separate the ‘petals’.
Combine the grilled florets, onion petals, baby carrots, garlic cloves and chillies in a sterilised vinegar-proof container. Cover with the pickling liquor and leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours before serving – up to a week is better.
If you pack the vegetables and pickling liquor into a sterilised jar and seal, you can keep them for months in a cool, dark place. Mine never last that long, so I just keep them in the fridge.
Low and Slow by Neil Rankin (Ebury Press, £25)
Photograph by Paul Winch-Furness