Pickles & relishes

Pickles & relishes

By
Greg Malouf, Lucy Malouf
Contains
5 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781742708423
Photographer
Alan Benson

Middle Easterners are big on self-sufficiency. In the bountiful summer months they bottle, pickle and preserve all the fruit and vegetables they can lay their hands on (often home-grown) in preparation for the cold, dark winters.

Nowadays, there is no longer quite the same imperative to prolong the life of fresh produce, as most is so widely available throughout the year. So the art of preserving – whether pickling in brine or vinegar, packing in salt, storing in oil, or drying in the sun – is much more about the way these techniques transform the flavour and texture of ingredients. Think about the distinctive salty-sour tang of a Moroccan preserved lemon, the crisp crunch of a sweet gherkin or the intensely fruity chew of a sun-dried tomato.

Greg, like most Middle Easterners, has a deep love of sour and salty things, so he’s a big fan of pickles. Whether it’s a single ‘hero’ vegetable, packed into a herb-spiked vinegar, or a crunchy medley of spiced vegetables, cooked into a vibrant and tangy relish or deep, dark chutney, each has a place on the Middle Eastern table. They’re a natural accompaniment to cheese, to rich soups and braises and to aromatic grilled meats and vegetables, and they are a quick and easy way to pep up filling, but bland starchy dishes of rice, pulses or grains.

None of the recipes in this section is technically challenging, and they don’t require any special equipment (other than a large saucepan and some jars for storage), so don’t be intimidated by the idea of turning your kitchen into a pickle factory! The pleasure you’ll get from shelves full of gleaming jars of multi-coloured preserves that you created yourself is intensely satisfying.

Recipes in this Chapter

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