"These are not pickles in the sense of being made months in advance," says Ross Lusted, "but a quick pickle." You can, however, prepare them early in the day so you have more time with your guests.
- 8 baby cucumbers (about 250gm), unpeeled, cut into 2cm-thick slices
- 50 ml chardonnay vinegar
- 3 yellow mustard or thyme flowers (see note)
- 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
- 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
Pink onions and capers
- 150 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 80 ml sherry vinegar (1/3 cup)
- 8 long red shallots (about 400gm; see note), cut into 2cm-thick slices
- 2 tbsp baby capers in vinegar
- 8 young leeks (2cm diameter), trimmed
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of ½
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Broad beans and parmesan
- 400 gm podded broad beans (1kg unpodded)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 20 gm finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1Toss cucumber in 2 tsp sea salt and set aside for 20 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain well. Warm vinegar, flowers and mustard seeds in a saucepan over low heat (20-30 seconds), remove from heat, add oil. Pour over cucumbers and set aside to pickle (30 minutes).
- 2Meanwhile, for pink onions and capers, heat oil, vinegar and 50ml water in a shallow frying pan. Add shallot, cut-side down, season to taste, add capers and cook over low heat, turning halfway, until starting to soften (10 minutes). Set aside to cool, turning occasionally to pickle evenly.
- 3For soft leeks, preheat oven to 170C. Place leeks in a small baking dish with lemon rind and juice, bay leaf and 1 tsp sea salt, drizzle with olive oil. Cover with baking paper and roast until leeks are tender (30-35 minutes). Cool, then cut into small pieces and set aside.
- 4For broad beans and parmesan, blanch broad beans until just tender (1-2 minutes). Refresh, drain, peel and combine with olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat until warmed through (30 seconds-1 minute). Season with salt and lemon juice, transfer to a serving dish, top with finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve warm with pickled vegetables (at room temperature) and <a href="fougasse.htm">fougasse</a>.
Note Thyme flowers, mustard flowers and long red shallots (also known as banana shallots) are available from select greengrocers.