James Street Cookery School: Two tasty types of pickle – samphire and radish

Pickled samphire – tasty in its own right, it also adds plenty of flavour to dishes
Niall McKenna

THIS week’s recipes involve pickling vegetables to use later on in the year. At this time of year there is normally an abundance of produce available and many countries, especially in the northern hemisphere, pickle a lot of produce in order to preserve and store it for the winter months.

We do this every summer in the restaurant as pickled vegetables can add a whole new dimension to any dish, especially meats and fish, and, with the increasing popularity of vegetable dishes, adding pickles can really enhance the flavour.


300g samphire, with woody parts removed

300ml white wine vinegar

100ml white wine

60g brown sugar

½ tsp black peppercorn

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp coriander seeds

½ tsp fennel seeds

large pinch of sea salt (Maldon is our preferred brand)

Place in a pan the vinegar, white wine, sugar, peppercorns and spices. Heat and bring to the boil. Once the sugar has dissolved turn off the heat and set pan aside to cool.

Once cool, strain through a sieve. Remove any remaining woody parts of the samphire and place in a Kilner jar. Pour over the liquor and seal tight. Store in the cupboard. This can be used a couple of days after the ingredients have settled.



1kg radishes

140g sea salt

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds

10 cloves

2 bay leaves

750ml white wine vinegar

150g white sugar

1-piece ginger, ½ inch, chopped

1 red chilli, sliced

Trim the radish and halve any that are large. This recipe brines the radish first, so you need to mix the salt with 300ml boiling water in a pot. Top up with water and add in the radishes. Leave to sit overnight.

To make the pickling juice place the rest of the ingredients in pan, leaving the ginger and chilli to the side. Place the pan on a low heat and bring to a simmer. Once simmered, remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Pack the radishes into a sterilised jar and pour over the pickling juice. Top up with the chili and ginger and seal.

Once opened, use within two weeks. If you do not think you will use them all once opened, use smaller Kilner jars.

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