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Angela Clutton : The Vinegar Cupboard by Angela Clutton (Bloomsbury Absolute, £26) is out now. Photography by Polly Webster.
Every time I make this salad I take a moment to reflect on its beauty. Pretty as a picture, with all its pinks and greens. The radishes are quick-pickled Japanese-style in amasu, a mix of rice vinegar, sugar and water that is heated until the sugar dissolves. The amasu gives a light pickling to the radishes, but these are not the kind of pickles that keep for ages; they need just an hour in the pickling liquid before the samphire and parsley are added and then it is served. Don’t add samphire and parsley too soon before serving, however, or they’ll lose some of their vibrancy. I sometimes use sea purslane instead of samphire; both are pretty salty, which is why there is no need for any additional salt in the recipe. The samphire here is raw – if you prefer, steam it lightly for 2 minutes and refresh in cold water before following the recipe. If you fancy, the amasu rice vinegar pickling liquid can be retained and mixed with sparkling water for a delicious, prettily-pink drink.
Top and tail the radishes, slice them thinly and put into a bowl.
Put the vinegar into a pan with the sugar and 50ml of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer only until the sugar has dissolved.
Pour the hot liquid over the radishes. They should be just covered, but if they’re not add more vinegar and water in a 2:1 ratio. Add the orange zest and dill to the bowl. Stir, then cover and leave for an hour at room temperature to cool and for the flavours to meld together.
Remove the orange strips and the dill. Strain away the liquid (or keep it – see introduction), then toss the radishes with the samphire and chopped parsley in a large bowl and serve.
A light white wine vinegar such as champagne vinegar could be used here.