When I was a kid I used to love sticking my fingers into tiny jars and pulling out those fluorescent red and green pickled onions to eat with thick slices of cheddar cheese. In hindsight, it was a bit gross but now look where we are! Pickling things is a cool thing to do.
An age old technique to save the seasons and money, pickled vegetables have now become the object of desire on fancy pants menus across Sydney. Head to any local market and you'll find tables of homemade pickles all jarred up with a cute typeface and an expensive price tag but don't be fooled by another food trend, pickling is here to stay.
The real clincher? It's so, so easy to do. It's honestly the cheapest and tastiest way to add a different element to a salad, a sandwich or as a side to anything, really. Grab a few veggies, add a splash of vinegar, a bit of sugar and whack it in any old jar. The pickling world is your oyster.
And the best thing? Now I find myself looking at every daggy bit of leftover vegetable and thinking, "Oh yep, I could pickle you."
Quick Pickled Beetroot + Quinoa and Greens Salad
2 whole fresh beetroot
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
Few big pinches of sea salt
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 bunch of dill, finely chopped
2 cups kale, shredded
1/2 cup roughly chopped roasted almonds
1 Spanish onion
200g goats feta
Thinly slice the beetroot into rounds, about half a centimetre thick. Place in a bowl and salt liberally with sea salt, then add the brown sugar. Pour over the water and apple cider vinegar and let to sit for about five minutes. Transfer beetroot and all the juices into a jar. Put the lid on and give it a good old shake. If the liquid doesn't cover the beetroot, add a bit more. Set aside in the jar for about half an hour before eating. This pickle can stay in the fridge for a few weeks, it tastes better and better with age!
For the salad, combine the cooked quinoa with the kale, dill, almonds, finely sliced red onion and feta. Drizzle really well with olive oil and a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice. Serve with pickled beetroot.