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
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
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)
- Place all the ingredients into the Saucepan, except the brown sugar.
- Place on a medium heat and bring to the boil
- Turn down once bubbling and let simmer for approx 4 to 5 minutes – do not let the lotus root go soft.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!!