Amazing Pickled and Marinated Vegetables

Pickled vegetables taste totally delicious. I'm going to give you my personal favorite vegetables and herb combinations - damn simple and they make great presents. Much cooler than turning up with a bottle of wine. Once you've had success with them, have a go at your own variations. You can use one large jar or lots of smaller ones (I prefer smaller ones because once a jar's been opened it will only last for a week or so in the refrigerator).

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 30 min
Prep: 1 hr
Inactive Prep: 20 min
Cook: 10 min
 
YIELD: about 2 quarts
LEVEL: Difficult

ingredients

FOR THE PICKLING LIQUID:
    FOR THE PICKLING MARINADE:
    • 1 fresh red chili, deseeded and chopped
      CHOOSE 1 OF THE FOLLOWING VEGETABLE AND HERB OPTIONS:
      • 2 pounds fennel bulbs and their herby tops
      • 2 pounds small onions and 4 bay leaves
      • 2 pounds red and yellow peppers and a few sprigs of fresh thyme
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      Directions

      Make sure you have some small sterilized jars ready to go. Bring the pickling liquid ingredients to the boil in a big pan. Put the pickling marinade ingredients into a large bowl with your chosen herbs and mix well. Slice up your chosen vegetables any way you like, but if it's a larger vegetable try to get the pieces around 1/2-inch in thickness. This way, the flavors and pickling liquid will penetrate sufficiently. Smaller vegetables, like mushrooms or very small onions, can be left whole.

      Place the sliced vegetables in the boiling pickling liquid and leave for around 3 minutes - they'll probably rise to the surface, so keep pushing them down to ensure they are all immersed. Lift the pieces out with a slotted spoon and place them into your bowl of pickling marinade. Toss together - it will smell fantastic.

      Pretty much straightaway, put the hot vegetables and pickling marinade into your sterilized jars, filling them to the very top. Cover the vegetables completely with the marinade and put the lids on tightly. Put the jars aside until they're cool. Clean the jars, attach sticky labels and write the date and the contents on them. Store the jars somewhere cool and dark - it's best to leave them for about 2 weeks before opening so the vegetables really get to marinate well, but if you absolutely cannot wait, you can eat them sooner. They'll keep for about 3 months - but they're so bloody good I'm lucky if the jars last for a couple of weeks in our house!

      "Our agreement with the producers of "Jamie at Home" only permit us to make 2 recipes per episode available online. Food Network regrets the inconvenience to our viewers and foodnetwork.com users"

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