As we approach the “hunger gap” in Irish agriculture, this is where food preservation comes to the fore. Pickling and fermenting foods just like freezing allows you to enjoy them all year round. I like to include pickled food in my cooking to add a sharg tanginess or heat to the dish. I especially love to add pickled or fermented food to salads or on top of a baked potato with milder fillings.
If you want to discover more about pickling, two great cookbooks are “The Cultured Club” by Dearbhla Reynolds and “Food For A Happy Gut” by Naomi Devlin. To taste and look at the wonders of pickling, check out the pickling wall in Bread 41 and the cellar at The Strawberry Tree restaurant in Brooklodge Hotel.
Pickled red onion is one of my favourites and here’s my recipe that really only requires some slicing and time. Time is possibly the most important factor when it comes to slow food. Slow food refers to pickling, fermenting, baking that involves a starter like sourdough or dairy products like cheese or yoghurt.
The onions are best left for at least 7 days before eating and will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.
As with all my recipes, mix and match or omit spices and herbs as your cupboard or preference allows.
Makes 1 regular jam jar:
- 2 red onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- pinch of sea salt
- Place all the ingredients in a sterile jam jar and shake until well combined.
- Store in the fridge and taste after one week.
- Keep fresh in the fridge for at least 6 weeks.