I was going to move onto the botanical portion of “citrus week” but after writing about Edith’s pickles, I started thinking about them more and more, and then it dawned upon me that I probably had a jar of them in the refrigerator.
I did. I brought them out and let them come to room temperature and tried one and it was SP-LEN-DID!
Then, feeling a little hungry, midday, I had a few more with a scoop of cottage cheese and some walnuts — SUBLIME!! The pickles have a bright sourness to them, a bit of heat, all balanced out with the scent of turmeric and cumin.
Or as Nigella says “You either have a sour tooth or you don’t. I do, and love these pickles — with bread and cheese, aromatic stews, cold meats, anything.”
So, tonight I served them with a creamy goat cheese and some and halved walnuts — everyone LOVED them.
So, I must share with you, Splendid Readers, the recipe for Edith Afif’s Lime Pickles, I know Nigella would want me to. Walnuts, packaged Chevre and Edith’s pickles can all live in your larder for weeks. When you have these ingredients on hand, within minutes you will be able to serve your guests a unique first course which will pleasantly mystify them.
The active time to make a jar or two of these is less than an hour. For a year or more, you will have this in your refrigerator to pull out, assemble and serve to your friends and family. They will be tremendously impressed with your exotic tastes.
Also, you could do a two-jar-for-one-effort proposition. Nigella’s recipe will produce at least 2 – 3/4 litre preserving jars of citrus (at least). You could figure out your spice taste and the math and add the spices to one jar, then prepare the other jar “straight up”.
Here is the recipe from the book How to be a Domestic Goddess, by Nigella Lawson.
4 – 1/2 cups coarse salt
approximately 2 – 1/4 cups olive oil (she says not extra virgin)
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 dried red chili peppers, crumbled (I used a teaspoon of dried, crushed red pepper flakes)
3 – 12 ounce preserving jars
12 x 8 inch baking tray or Pyrex dish
Cut the limes into eighths lengthways and cover the bottom of your dish with them. Cover the limes with the salt and then put in the freezer overnight or for a day (12 hours should do it, but longer won’t hurt).
Remove from the freezer and thaw thoroughly. Put into a colander and rinse under the cold tap. Shake dry. Put a third into each clean, waiting jar. Decant the oil into a measuring cup and stir in the turmeric, cumin seeds, and crumbled pepper. Pour the oil to come to the very top of the jars (and if you need more than 2 cups to do this then simply add more – if the limes aren’t submerged you’ll get mold). Close and put away in a dark place. Leave for at least 3 weeks before eating. The longer you leave them, the more tender and exquisite the are.
Doesn’t she have a beautiful way with words?
Makes 3 – 12-ounce jars.
The jar sizes vary by brand, you’ll be able to estimate out how many you need, depending upon the size of the fruit. There are lots of lovely preserving jars in Splendid Items (European and domestic). Sterilize more jars than you think you will need.