It’s approaching that time of year when if you have a garden, everything comes at once and you have a glut of something or another (usually courgettes) and if you don’t, reasonably priced fruit and veg are available in bushel loads at farmers’ markets and you find yourself perhaps buying more than you can eat straight away.
Pickles and preserves solve the problem but in a heat wave you don’t want to stand over a hot stove. This is where quick pickles come into their own. So what if they only keep a couple of weeks? They have a freshness, crunch and vibrancy which is very appealing, plus they take only minutes to make and are ready within 24 hours. That makes them multiple award winners in my book.
This sweet and sour beetroot pickle is loaded with warming spices and would be perfect with hot or cold ham. It’s also very good in a veggie burger. I’ll probably make the pickle again at Christmas because it’s not only tasty, its speed of making will slot nicely into a busy cooking schedule.
I used Aspall’s apple balsamic vinegar, which is fruity and not too thick. If you substitute another balsamic, try to find one that’s not too syrupy. You’ll need a 250ml preserving jar with a non-reactive lid and a pair of clean rubber or plastic gloves (or a nail brush and a bar of soap).
Beetroot and Balsamic Pickle
2-3 small red beetroot (about 250g trimmed weight)
150ml Aspall apple balsamic vinegar
75 ml water
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp allspice berries
1/2 cinnamon stick
A few blades of mace
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp light soft brown sugar
1 tspn sea salt
Wearing gloves, top and tail and peel the beetroot, then cut into matchsticks. Place in a sterilised preserving jar.
Put the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Crank up the heat, bring to a boil and pour over the beetroot. Seal the jar.
Once cooled, refrigerate and leave for 24 hours before tucking in. It’ll keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.