Spice up your salads, sandwiches and charcuterie boards!
I’ve frequently joked that I’d happily pickle anything in my kitchen that’s not nailed down. Search “pickles” on my website and you’ll see I’m not really kidding. Quick pickles are just so easy; some of my favourites include apples, blueberries, turnips and tomatillos. I love the tanginess of pickled fruits and vegetables which can transform a mild-tasting meal into something that’s just popping with flavour. Since it’s been a long and very cold winter where I live, I’ve also been all about citrus lately and I am particularly entranced by kumquats. I have to confess that I didn’t even know what kumquats looked like, let alone how they tasted, until a few years ago when someone offered me one to try. The English word ‘kumquat’ is a derivation of the Cantonese gām-gwāt which means golden orange. The ones we can most often find in Canada at specialty produce stores are oval in shape and are eaten whole (which is a good thing, because they’d be super tricky to peel). Their sweet-tasting skin and sour flesh make them ideal for pickling.
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) kumquats
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) white vinegar
- 1 cup (250 mL) water
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) kosher salt
- 6 peppercorns
- 4 whole cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL ) ground cardamom seeds
- 1/2 star anise
- 1 slice fresh gingerroot
- 1 Thai chili, halved lengthwise (remove some seeds if you don’t want too much heat)
- Wash and quarter the kumquats and place in a clean 2 cup (500 mL) canning jar.
- Combine all other ingredients in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. As soon as salt has dissolved, remove from heat.
- Carefully pour hot brine (including seasonings) over kumquats in the jar.
- Place lid on jar and let cool to room temperature.
- Transfer to the refrigerator. Pickles will be ready to eat in 24 hours and will keep in the fridge for up to a month.
Makes one 2 cup (500 mL) jar.