I never fail to be amazed and amused at courgette plants. Early in summer for the past few years, I’ve put a couple of puny-looking little shoots out into the garden – and each year, these unpromising tiny green leaves have turned into monster plants producing courgettes almost more quickly than I can pick and use them.
Typically, our courgettes go straight from being cut into a lunch or dinner meal. But for those times when I simply can’t keep pace with the number of courgettes coming at me, the following recipe is a godsend. And, by happy coincidence, the end result goes fantastically with those meats of summer – ham, pâtés, and barbecued burgers and red meats.
So, if we’re lucky enough to have another warm weekend at this very tail end of summer (and, as I write, the prospect of that is looking good), this is a recipe worth giving a spin. Make it now, and it’ll be ready to dish up at lunch on Saturday.
500ml cider vinegar, or a half and half mix of cider vinegar and Perton’s apple verjus for a sweeter pickle
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
1 1/2 tsp crushed yellow and brown mustard seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
for 1 litre of pickle:
2 tbsp best sea salt
1 small onion
1. Slice the courgettes very thinly into discs (a mandoline is best for this job). Cut the onion in half, and then slice very thinly, too. Place together in a large bowl, add salt and mix thoroughly.
2. Cover with very cold water and stir to dissolve the salt.
3. After 1 hour, drain and dry thoroughly in small batches in a salad spinner or by hand between towels. Combine with the pickling mix in a saucepan and simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside until just warm to touch.
4. Mix the courgettes with cooled liquid in a bowl. Transfer the pickle to pre-sterilised jars. Cover and refrigerate for a least a day before serving.
The pickles will keep indefinitely if refrigerated.