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CUCAMELONS

posted 14 May 2015, 20:46 by Dan Nong   [ updated 14 May 2015, 20:52 ]

The fruit can be eaten straight off the plant, or tossed with olives, slivers of pepper and a dousing of olive oil. Perfect for a quirky snack with drinks – or even popped like an olive in a cheeky martini.



PICKLED CUCAMELONS WITH MINT & DILL

To preserve their virtues right in to the depth of winter, you can even make cucamelon dill pickles. Fantastic in a simple ham sandwich or with a fancy cheeseboard.


 

They can be pickled whole, however slicing these little fruit in half and pre-salting them will result in far more crisp result – not to mention that fact that they will be ready in half the time.


Pre-salting simply involves sprinkling the sliced fruit with a really generous amount of sea salt in a colander (about 1 tbsp per cup of cucamelons) and setting them over a bowl for 20 minutes or so. This will draw out the excess water from the fruit, which prevents the fruit from diluting the vinegar during the pickling process.

After the 20 minutes are up give them a good rinse, pat dry with some paper towels and you are ready to go!


You can flavour the pickling vinegar with anything you fancy. My favourite mix combines dill, mint, pickling spice and a sprinkling of pink peppercorns. Add a generous sprinkling of sugar and salt and stir the mix to combine.


Adding an (optional) scrunched up vine or oak leaf will further help ensure a crisp result, as the tannins in the leaves will inhibit natural enzymes within the fruit that can cause softness.


Top up with a good quality vinegar to cover the fruit, seal the jar and give it a good shake.

Pop it in the fridge and they will be ready in a just a week!

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