Friday, October 7, 2011

How To Make Herbal Mustards, Pickles And Sauces


Mustards are delicious and give a lift to all sorts of savory foods. We all know the English, French and German varieties, but these recipes give them an extra lift and would make marvelous gifts for a mustard lover.

Minty Mustards

1 8oz jar wholegrain coarse mustard
4 tsp dry mint leaves, finely crumbled

Mix these two ingredients well and either return the mixture to the original jar or put it in smaller jars to give as part of a set of small mustards.

Tarragon Mustard with Vermouth

large handful fresh tarragon leaves
4 oz chopped spring onions
2 8 oz jars Dijon mustard
1 tbsp dry vermouth

Chop the tarragon leaves well and add the spring onions, mustard and vermouth. Mix together very thoroughly. Pour into a clean jar and seal with a tight-fitting lid. This mustard can be stored in the refrigerator for about one month.


Pickles can add their own special zing to a meal and are particularly good with cold cuts of meat or poultry. Most vegetables will pickle, so here are some recipes that are especially good.

Dilly Cucumbers

24 small ridge cucumbers
5 pints water
1/2 pint vinegar
4 oz sea salt
1 large handful fresh dill heads
1 large or several small chili peppers

Soak the cucumbers overnight in a solution of salt and water, using 8 oz of sea salt to every pint of water. Then boil together the water, vinegar and sea salt and allow to cool. Drain the cucumbers and arrange in clean canning jars interspersed with layers of dill heads. The cucumbers can be left whole or cut into slices. Add a small chili pepper or pieces of a larger one to each jar. Cover with the vinegar solution and secure the lids.

Sweet Pickled Onions

2 lb pickling onions
1 bunch tarragon
1 bunch mint
1 bunch sweet chervil
4 oz sea salt
1 pint cider vinegar
6 oz granulated sugar

Peel the onions then arrange them on a tray, sprinkle with the sea salt and leave overnight. Carefully wipe all the salt and moisture off the onions and place in clean jars. Put a couple of sprigs of each herb in every jar. Heat the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved, then leave to cool. Pour the vinegar over the onions, leaving a very small amount of room in the top of each jar. Secure the lids of the jars. The onions will be ready in about two to three weeks but are a lot tastier after about six to eight weeks, if you can wait that long!

Mint and Tomato Chow Chow

6 average tomatoes
1 onion
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp salt
1/2 pint cider vinegar
2 tbsp finely chopped mint

Peel the tomatoes by placing them in boiling water for a few seconds and then carefully removing the skins. Peel the onion and chop the tomatoes and onion finely. Put all the ingredients in a lidded casserole dish and cook at 300F until the onion is quite tender (about one to two hours). Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Pour into wide-mouthed jars and cover each jar with a circle of waxed paper, then cover with cellophane and add a label.

Mint Relish

1 pint mint leaves
1 lb onions, peeled and chopped
1 lb apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 lb green tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 lb sultanas (gold raisins)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp French mustard
1 pint white wine vinegar
1 lb granulated sugar

Heat 1/4 pint of vinegar with the sugar until the sugar has completely dissolved. Leave to cool. Place the remaining vinegar in a saucepan with the salt and mustard. Put the green tomatoes in a food processor for a few seconds until they are mushy, then add to the saucepan. Repeat the process with the mint leaves, apples, onions and sultanas, adding them all to the saucepan. Then simmer all the ingredients until soft. Pour in the vinegar and sugar mixture. Boil the mixture for a couple of minutes and then leave to cool a little. Pour the relish into warm clean jars and cover with waxed paper circles. When completely cool, add cellophane lids and labels.

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