Salad of Pickled Gooseberries, Red Cabbage, Hazelnuts & Coriander

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Preparation info

  • For

    Ten

    Starters
    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

  • About

This is a dish that I first made at the original Sugar Club in Wellington, and it’s still one of Ashley and Viv’s favourites. Pickling was something my grandmother got me interested in as a kid. Years later, as I began to eat at Japanese restaurants, I realised the role that pickles play in their cuisine as an aid to digestion and a stomach teaser. The pickles here are best made at least one week in advance and will keep for several months in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • ½ red cabbage
  • 500g (18oz) gooseberries, washed well
  • 500ml (18fl oz) cider vinegar
  • 1 litre ( pints) water
  • 500g (18oz) light brown soft sugar
  • 4 star anise
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, lightly crushed
  • ½ cup finely chopped peeled ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup shelled hazelnuts, roasted and peeled
  • 2 bunches fresh coriander, leaves picked off the stalks
  • 150ml (5fl oz) extra virgin olive oil

Method

Slice the red cabbage as fine as you can, removing the thick core first. Pack it tightly into a preserving jar and place in a sink or bowl as deep as the jar. Pack the gooseberries into another jar. Pour enough hot water into the sink or bowl to come at least one-third of the way up the jars – this will prime the glass and prevent it from shattering when you pour in the hot pickle liquid. Put the next seven ingredients into a pot and boil for 2 minutes; strain half into the cabbage and then, without straining, pour the rest on to the gooseberries. The liquid should cover the contents; if it doesn’t, bring some more water and vinegar (at a ratio of 2 to 1) to the boil and top up the jars. Gently wobble the jars to release trapped air, then seal quickly and leave to go cold in the bowl or sink. Put in the fridge and leave for at least a week, turning the jars upside down every two days.

To serve, mix half the cabbage and half the gooseberries with the hazelnuts, coriander and olive oil, add 200ml (7fl oz) of the liquid from the gooseberries and mix well.