Happy New Year – A Recipe for you to share with family – make a summer platter and have a long relaxing picnic!

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Over summer in Australia we love to have long lazy lunches on our deck or as a picnic at the beach or under a gum tree 🌞🙃  – some cold meat, tropical fruits and some lovely pickles to cut through the sweetness of fruit – with some crusty bread and cheese – what more can one ask!

 So here is my recipe for a pickle that we love to add to our collection of treats –

Pickled Lotus Root

Ingredients:

4 or 5 lotus roots – depending on size – washed and sliced across the root to expose their little holes

Enough Cider Vinegar to ½ cover the roots in a medium saucepan

Enough water to top up and cover the roots in the medium saucepan

1 Head of garlic – skinned and cloves separated

1 birds eye chilli – (or more if you like it hot) – chopped into small pieces

1 piece of ginger root – approx 6cm long or to taste – cleaned and sliced very thinly

¼ cup of black or green pepper corns whole

2 teaspoons cumin powder

2 teaspoons coriander powder

1 teaspoon cooking salt

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 dessert spoon of whole yellow mustard seeds

3 dessert spoons (heaped) soft brown sugar – add this after 4 to 5 mins of cooking time

Tools:

Medium Saucepan

Tongs and spoons for bottling

Sterile bottles with wide mouth and screw or clamp down lids – that will hold steam (care must be taken when bottling the hot ingredients – wear gloves and sit your bottles on a clean kitchen towel to give them stability)

Method:

  1. Place all the ingredients into the Saucepan, except the brown sugar.
  2. Place on a medium heat and bring to the boil
  3. Turn down once bubbling and let simmer for approx 4 to 5 minutes – do not let the lotus root go soft.
  4. After 4 to 5 minutes add the 3 dessert spoons of soft brown sugar and bring back to the boil and let dissolve and boil for 1 minute longer
  5. Lift the saucepan off the stove and lift the lotus roots, ginger, garlic and condiments into sterile prepared bottles using tongs or spoon – be careful they are hot.
  6. Pour the cooking liquid while still hot into the jars on top of the lotus roots etc and place the lid on the bottles and screw down firmly.
  7. Leave the jars to cool on the bench and then place in a cool place until you are ready to use them – they will keep in a very cool place for up to 3 or 4 weeks.

To Serve:

Lay out a large platter and place some lettuce, watercress or witlof  – add the cold meats/protein of your choice, chicken – ham – rare roast beef, or even some freshly cooked fish or flash fried tofu – some cherry tomatoes, mango pieces peeled and sliced ready to eat – celery and carrot cleaned and cut to small batons (almost any edible vegetable that you enjoy – can go on this platter) garnish with the Pickled Lotus Root, along with some of the garlic and ginger – some of the whole pepper corns and a small drizzle of the cooking juice – plus a good splash of virgin olive oil will finish this off as a dressing!

Serve with a platter of fresh crusty bread and cheeses of your choice – a nice red or white white wine good company and some time to relax and enjoy – bon appétit!!

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