The Christmas food I look forward to the most is not the turkey with all the trimmings, the Christmas pudding, the Christmas cake, the turkey curry or the copious chocolate it is simply compulsory to consume. No, it’s the cheeseboard!
My husband will tell you I don’t need much of an excuse for a cheeseboard, I love cheese, but there’s something about a Christmas cheeseboard that’s extra special. Stilton, wensleydale with cranberries, extra mature cheddar, brie, danish blue the list goes on.This year we are spending Christmas day with the in-laws and I know this will surprise you but we’re bringing the cheese! No, I don’t mean the awful cracker jokes, the Christmas jumpers or the Christmas Chef’s hat I may have for the mother-in-law.
I thought it would be nice to take something homemade as our contribution to the festive feast and so I set about looking for something a bit different, that wouldn’t take me too long to put together, as I was fast running out of time!
The in-laws love feisty pickles and I knew my veg box this week had leeks in it, so I thought I’d have a go at something new: pickled leeks!
I’ve created this recipe by cherry picking from other recipes, found on the internet, to come up with my own version and here it is:
Nelson’s Pickled Leeks
- 4 small organic leeks
- 350ml organic cider vinegar (you could also use white wine vinegar)
- 200ml water
- 3 sprigs of home-grown thyme
- 4 small home-grown bay leaves
- The zest and juice of one organic lemon
- 1 tsp rock salt (table salt is fine)
- 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1 sterilised Kilner jar of a suitable size (the recipe makes about 750ml of pickle)
- Sterilise the Kilner jar (you can use other jars as long as it has a good seal on it), using one of these methods: How To Sterilise Jars
- Wash and thinly slice your leeks making sure to then wash through the chopped leeks to get rid of any grit.
- Put the vinegar, water, thyme, bay leaves, lemon juice and zest, salt, and mustard seeds in a medium size pan and bring to the boil.
- Add the chopped leek, bring back to the boil and simmer for two minutes.
- Leave to cool for about two hours.
- Pour into the cooled jar and seal.
- They are ready to eat straight away and you can keep them in the fridge for up to a month. As long as the leeks are covered with vinegar and the jar is sealed they should be fine and dandy, just check first.
These are seriously tasty with a decent cheddar and I think they are going to make a great addition to the cheese and crackers or left over turkey at Christmas. It also means I can take a little homemade something with me as my contribution to Christmas Day. Perhaps it will even become a new family Christmas tradition.
Don’t forget to let me know if you try out this recipe yourself or if you have any similar pickled delights you make at home. This is my entry into the #lovemyleeks British Leeks competition. You can enter here.