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Pickle your fancy

"Oh enough already!" That was my initial thought when George called to let me know he had a box of tomatoes waiting for me. George is one of my favourite veggie growers. Here is the entrance to his store.

But then I realised you can you ever have enough pasta sauce tucked away for the winter. And seeing I finally had my hands on a copy of A Year In A Bottle, the wonderful book on preserving by Sally Wise, I thought I might as well go for another 20 kilos.

If you've ever thought about putting away food as jam, preserves or even freezing, this book is for definitely for you. This book is beautifully written with easy to follow instructions and plenty of recipes. Sally lives in Tasmania and this book is also peppered with tales of her own, from adventures with her grandparents as a child to picking fruit with her own children.

Pasta sauce not withstanding, it was a recipe for tomato chili pickle that caught my eye. With 20 cloves of garlic, loads of olive oil and a mountain of cumin, cooking this pickle filled the house with the most irresistible spicy fug.

If by any chance you still have a couple of kilos of tomatoes lying around I thoroughly recommend you cook up a batch. It's super easy and super delicious. Here is the recipe:

Tomato Chili Pickles from A Year in Bottle by Sally Wise

1.5 tbs yellow mustard seeds
1.5 cups white or cider vinegar
2.5cm piece of fresh ginger peeled
20 cloves of garlic
1.5 cups olive oil
250g large red chilies, finely chopped
2kg tomatoes
1.5 tbs ground turmeric
4 tbs ground cumin
1.25 cups sugar
1 tbs salt

Combine mustard seeds and vinegar in a bowl and set aside to soak for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to a food processor, add ginger and garlic and blend until well pureed.

Heat oil in a large saucepan, add chilies and tomatoes and saute slowly for a few minutes. Add mustard seed and vinegar mixture, turmeric, cumin, sugar and salt. Simmer for at least three hours or until thickened.

Pour into sterilised bottles and seal. Store in a cool dry and dark place for two weeks to allow flavours to develop before eating.

Makes approx 1.25 litres.


  1. we will have to visit George again soon. We used to live up the road from him and loved stopping for a chat and picking up some vegies!

  2. That sounds like a brilliant book. I'm going to email my Dad to buy me a copy. He lives in Tassie and is in charge of all things Tasmania, which includes that book. I have no more tomatoes lying around the house though, thank goodness. I cannot bear the smell of them anymore.

  3. I have this book & her slow cooker one..I do believe she has just released another.
    Thanks for mentioning it as I haven't really put that book to good use yet. Now could be the right time to give it a go.
    I love that tomato pickle cooking smell, aahh so good...goes right through the house.

  4. I like the sound of that book I'm going to check it out.
    I've alway want to do preserving tomotoes for pasta sauces.

    I would of had a whole heap of tomatoes this season but we had alot of rain for a few weeks up here and it split most of them and killed the plants.
    But I did get a nice crop of basil this season had made heaps of pesto...:)

  5. Was George on Gourmet Farmer? Love to know where his little store is? Down the valley somewhere, perhaps?

  6. I very much like the sound of that book! I would love to be a lot more consistent in my preserving - at the moment it seems to be just when the whim takes me, which is no where near often enough!

    Thanks so much for my pin cushion - it's lovely! It was here waiting for me when we got back from holidays a few days ago which made the return home that little bit more enjoyable :-)

  7. those jars look chock full of goodness! i am going to check that book out right now. Mmmm Mmmm. xo m.

  8. thanks for the recommendation, I've put that book and her others on my wishlist.

  9. I am so going to make that recipe! ...and buy that book!
    Pulled out my tomotoes today and this is just the thing to use them in!