Continental Pickles

Continental Pickles

Variation on a theme, these pickles have a bit more bite are more varied.  They look fabulous at Christmas on a cheese platter!

8 small Lebanese cucumbers finely sliced

6 small onions or shallots, quartered  (alternatively use about 15 tiny pickling onions)

4 red capsicum

2 yellow capsicum

2 green capsicum

3 celery stalks, cut into generous pieces

½ cup black olives

Large strips of lemon zest (use a potato peeler to peel 2-3 lemons)

1 cup of salt

2 litres of cold water

½ cup finely chopped dill, thyme sprigs and/or rosemary

1 litre  apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

2 cups of white sugar

2 ½ teaspoons each of mustard seeds, coriander seeds, whole peppercorns

2 teaspoons of celery seeds, fennel seeds, cumin, allspice, and cinnamon

1 tablespoon of salt, extra

5 bay leaves

Few sprigs of rosemary, thyme  and/or dill, extra

Prepare your preserving jars by washing them thoroughly and allowing them to dry upside down on the rack in a 70-90°C oven while you make your preserves.  The jars will be hot, but not scalding when removed from the oven.

Place cucumbers in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with a little of the salt.  Layer on the onions, celery and capsicums, sprinkling the salt as you layer the mix up.  Add the cold water and leave to stand for 2-3 hours.

Drain off the water and add all vegetables to a large saucepan with the olives, lemon vinegar, sugar, extra salt and spices.  Bring to a rapid boil for 3 minutes or until onions are just tender.

Place a sprig of rosemary or thyme or dill into the prepared jars and pack pickled vegetables in firmly.  Ensure there is an equal mix of veges in each jar.  Pour the hot vinegar mix over the top, including bay leaves and seeds.

Allow to stand in a cool dark place for a month or so before eating to allow flavour to develop.