One thing we both absolutely love is pickle. P in particular always has a jar of pickles open somewhere (in the fridge; as far as I know she doesn’t hide them around the house).
We recently discovered a pickle-seller at a nearby farmers market, who had this amazing red cabbage pickle. We bought and devoured a tub. It was delicious. But because of who we are, we looked at the price of his tub, and looked at what it would cost to make our own, and after some cheeky googling for a few good recipe hints, we came up with this:
500g red cabbage, finely shredded
140g coarse sea salt
500ml cider vinegar
200ml red wine
400g granulated sugar
2 tsp black peppercorn
6 bay leaves
2 tbsp yellow mustard seed
Place the shredded cabbage in a colander over the sink and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 2-3 hours, then drain and wash away the salt. Pay dry with a clean tea towel.
Put the vinegar, wine, sugar, peppercorns and bay leaves into a big, wide saucepan and simmer until the liquid has reduced by about half. Set aside for 10 mins to infuse.
Strain through a fine sieve into a jug or bowl, and discard the peppercorns and bay leaves. Put the cabbage and mustard seeds into a big bowl, and then pour the strained liquid over. Transfer the cabbage and pickling liquid into sterilised jars and seal. Will last for a month in the fridge.
So we just cracked open our first jar of this and it’s wonderful - it’s not overpowered by any particular element, but has an array of rich and subtle flavours, and a delicious, satisfying crunchy texture. On its own it’s pleasant enough, but excels as an addition to spinachy salads, or alongside any seitan or similar. Something makes me think that this would be brilliant in a vegan version of a Philly cheesesteak.