PICK­LES, MUS­TARDS and chut­neys

It’s easy to grow too many veg­eta­bles. Turn your ex­cess into de­li­cious pre­serves that keep all year.

NZ Gardener - Gifts from the Gardens - - Preserves -

Look to the more un­usual gifts for food­ies and friends, like these tasty pick­led ap­ples which are de­li­cious with pork. Com­bine 1 cup wa­ter, 1 cup white wine vine­gar, ½ cup maple syrup, 1½ tea­spoons pick­ling spice and ½ tea­spoon sea salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then re­duce heat to low, cover and sim­mer 8 to 10 min­utes.

Cut 2 large dessert ap­ples (washed and cored – no need to peel) into slices. Place in a jar with 2 star anise. Strain brine through a muslin-lined sieve into a jug, then pour over the ap­ples. Seal jar.

Got an ex­cess of zuc­chini? Make zuc­chini pickle. This scrump­tious pre­serve is de­li­cious paired with brie or camem­bert or in a ham or cold pork roll. In­gre­di­ents • 8 cups (about 1kg) sliced zuc­chini or scal­lop­ini • 2 cups sliced onions • 1 cup diced red cap­sicum • 1 ta­ble­spoon salt • 2 cups cider vine­gar • 3 cups sugar • 1 tea­spoon mus­tard seed

• 1 tea­spoon cel­ery seed

Com­bine the veg­eta­bles in a bowl, sprin­kle with salt and leave for one hour. Drain well, do not rinse. Com­bine veg­eta­bles in a large saucepan with vine­gar, sugar and seeds. Bring to the boil then turn heat down and sim­mer for 10 min­utes. Care­fully pack veg­etable mix­ture into hot dry jars, then cover with hot syrup and seal. Makes 1½ litres.

Zuc­chini jam, any­one? This amaz­ing jam is a per­fect sub­sti­tute for le­mon curd and keeps in your pantry for up to 12 months.

In­gre­di­ents • 1kg gold zuc­chini, or peeled green cour­gettes, finely chopped • juice and zest of 3 lemons • 1kg sugar • 125g but­ter

Steam zuc­chini un­til ten­der. Purée in food pro­ces­sor un­til pulp looks like cus­tard. Place in a pot with other in­gre­di­ents, stir­ring un­til sugar is dis­solved. Boil 30 min­utes, un­til jam is thick and glossy. Pour into jars.

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