Nutshell Bites · Snack time

Spiced Pickling Liquor with fennel and cucumber


Every day I’m pickling. Actually, that’s an absolute lie I’m totally not. But it makes me think of ‘Every day I’m shuffling’ and then I break out into a mini running man. I can’t help it – my brain just goes there. We’ve already had ‘I’m all about that baste‘. I’m sorry. I’ll stop. I’ll never stop. OK… let’s just move on to the pickling.

This year I’ve wanted to stretch myself more in the kitchen. Try the things I’d usually would think too hard. Play with flavours I love a bit more. Enjoy making things from scratch. Raw ingredients and bare hands. I’ve always been a lover of pickled vegetables, especially fiery pickled onions, so this seemed like a logical place to start.

IMG_3633 Ingredients – makes 1 litre (just over 4 cups) of pickling liquid

Pickling liquor

1 1/2 cups of white wine vinegar

1 1/2 cups of water

1 cup of sugar

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon black pepper corns

1 cinnamon stick, snapped in half

2 star anise

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of mustard seeds

Optional pickling items

Pickling onions, whole

Carrots, sliced on the diagonal a few millimeters thick

Fennel, sliced on the diagonal a few millimeters thick

Cauliflower, florets only and cut into small chunks (roughly 2cm each)

Cucumber,  sliced on the diagonal a few millimeters thick


1. Put on “You ain’t seen nothing yet” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive on because it’s good to go old school sometimes.

2. Take a large, heavy based saucepan and pour the water, vinegar, sugar and salt into the pan. Bring to a simmer and continue to heat until the sugar and salt have fully dissolved. Pour in the remaining ingredients and continue to heat for a further 5 minutes.

3. After the five minutes is up, take the pan off the heat and leave the mixture to fully cool. In the meantime prep your pickling items!

4. Slice all your vegetables and sterilise a large jar that’s big enough to fit the vegetables and fully cover them with pickling liquor. Sterilise the jar by submerging the jar in hot hot water and then take out to air dry.

5. Once the liquid is cool add it to the jar filled with your sliced vegetables and leave to infuse for at least a week. Store for up to 3 months.


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