A couple of weeks ago I spent considerable time preserving some of the glut crops I had been picking from the garden including mountains of cucumbers, kilos of zucchinis and piles of cherry tomatoes. I shared this and some photos on Facebook and at the time promised to blog some of the recipes and then promptly put that on the back burner when life got a little crazy. So here goes, some recipe for preserving the crops of summer gluts.
First up is my Grandmother’s cucumber pickles. I’ve included this recipe on the blog some time ago, link here, but it is such a tasty recipe that I make it every year. If you have a yearly glut of cucumbers pin or bookmark this recipe, you won’t regret it. I can especially recommend this to be added to your ham and cheese toasties on the cool Autumn days we’ve been having lately, yum!
Next up was a new one to me and by the smell and look of it I think this will be another winner. It’s a zucchini relish with red capsicum (I love the red specks through it). This recipe was collected from my Aunt’s mother-in-law when she bought some to Christmas one year.
1 kg zucchini, grated
2 tablespoons salt
1 onion, chopped
2 cups sugar
2 cups vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon hot curry powder
2 teaspoon turmeric
½ red pepper, grated
½ green pepper, grated
2 teaspoon cornflour
Sprinkle salt over zucchini, and barely cover with water.
Soak for 2 hours.
Drain water and place in a large saucepan.
Add onion, sugar, vinegar, spices and peppers.
Boil for ¾ – 1 hour.
Thicken with 2 teaspoons cornflour.
Bottle in sterilised jars and seal.
Next up was a Cherry Tomato and Sweet Chilli Jam which came out of a book called Gifts from the Kitchen by Annie Rigg. I copied it from my friend’s copy of the book, but it looks like a great book if you’re interested in home made gift giving.
Cherry Tomato and Sweet Chilli Jam
750g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 gloves garlic, crushed
2 large mild red chillis, deseeded (if you can be bothered) and finely chopped
5cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
250ml white wine vinegar
300g soft brown sugar
2 teaspoons fish sauce (or soy sauce if making for vegetarians) (or missed altogether if like me you missed the final step before bottling)
Peel and finely chop the onions (in the food processor if you’re lazy like me) and place in a saucepan with the tomatoes, garlic and ginger.
Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a small, dry saucepan over a low heat for 1 minute or util aromatic. Remove from the pan then grind in a mortar and pestle. Add to the saucepan with the vinegar and sugar.
Cook over a low to medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then reduce the leat to a simmer and continue to cook until the mixture has reduced to a syrupy consistency, stirring from time to time. Add the fish sauce (or soy sauce) and cook for a further couple of minutes before spooning into small sterilized jars. Seal while hot and allow to cool completely before labeling and storing.
The last one was a spiced plum sauce which I think is a Donna Hay recipe but was sent to me by the same friend that that gave me the cherry tomato recipe above. I actually only made a third of this as I only had 500g of plums, it was very easy to reduce.
Spiced Plum Sauce
1 1/2 kg plums
2 red onions, roughly chopped
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups malt vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
pinch ground cloves
Place the plums, onion, sugar, vinegar, pepper, chilli, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, or until plum flash falls of the pip. Strain through a fine sieve to remove pips. Store in airtight jars in the fridge. Makes 6 1/2 cups.
It seemed like a lot of preserving to do in a week, mostly all in one day, but it’s stocked my preserves cupboard up nicely. A batch of green tomato pickles in the next couple of weeks will finish it off nicely for this season I think.
Now it’s sharing time, what’s your favourite recipe for preserving your garden gluts?