Learning with Larousse: Lemony pickled vegetables
A bitter and spicy pickle, perfect served with a biriyani or something sweet to offset the bitterness, like some cheese. This recipe is essentially a vegetable achar with lemon.
If you’ve not been following my Learning with Larousse posts, then i’ll just explain. Basically I’m trying to cook my way through the mega food bible that is Larousse Gastronomique. As I go through, I’m documenting my recipes of which some turn out well and some not quite as I expected.. (ahem, this pickle and this quince recipe). I’m often not quite sure what I’m doing/cooking when I try them, so they’re often trial and error! Such as with this pickle recipe; I’ve never pickled anything without making it into a chutney and cooking it, so pickling with oil was a first!
Like I said, the taste is peppery with a bitter aftertaste. The vegetables still have some bite, which I was surprised about because I thought they would have gone limp from all the salting I did.
Also, Larousse didn’t include any quantities for this recipe, so I sorta made it up… here’s what I did:
4 lemons, cut into quarters
2 sweet bell peppers
1 small bag of thin green beans
a handful of cabbage leaves
1/4 of a cauliflower
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp white vinegar
500ml olive oil
Note – this recipe takes more than a day to complete. You will also need to sterilise a jar – see the how to link in the method.
1. Prepare the veg: cut the lemons into quarters, and carrots, peppers and cucumber into strips 4cm long. Dice the beans and tear the cabbage into small strips. Chop the cauliflower florets into small florets.
2. Steeping: place the lemons in a bowl and pour over enough salt to cover them. Steep for 12 hours. Do the same for the vegetables.
3. After 12 hours, wash the lemons and soak in cold water for 24 hours, changing the water every so often.
4. After 24 hours are up, boil the lemon quarters in water until they become soft. Drain and dry.
5. Now the vegetables would have been steeping for 36 hours: drain and dry them too.
6. Put the lemons quarters into the bottom of a sterilised jar (see how to here when I made mincemeat) and pour the vegetables on top. Pour the oil in a jug and add the cayenne pepper and vinegar. Stir. Pour over the vegetables in the jar. Seal and store in a cool place.