Since my early experiments with pickling samphire, I have decided that I prefer vinegar-pickled to lacto fermented for this vegetable. I tried to make vinegar for this, but it didn't go well, so I had to buy some. I looked at the expensive stuff, I looked at
pickling vinegar, the nice stuff was about three times the price, so I bought the pickling vinegar.
When I got it home and opened the bottle, it was a bit rough. Oh well, you get what you pay for, I suppose. I used it for the samphire anyway, then wondered what else I might preserve, to use up all that pickling vinegar. It would have to be something with a good strong flavour, to stand up to the rather harsh vinegar.
This was in late October, around the time we might expect the first frost. Walking past my nasturtium plants, it occurred to me 1) that they would soon be reduced to slimy mush by frost, and 2) that they were covered in green seeds. I've heard of pickling nasturtium seeds before - apparently they make a good alternative to capers. Now, I don't eat a lot of capers, but the peppery flavour of nasturtiums would surely stand up well to the cheap pickling vinegar, and if I wanted to try it, I'd have to get a move on. I picked all that I could find, chucked them in a jar and poured vinegar over them.
Shortly after that, I saw a bag of
pickling onions for sale in the supermarket for £1, so I bought them. Following Pam Corbin's suggestion, I added some sugar to the pickling vinegar for these, but otherwise didn't do much to them. So I now have pickled samphire, nasturtium seeds, and onions, and still a bit of vinegar left.
The nasturtium seeds are fantastic! I can't see the resemblance to capers, myself. Mind you, I can't think of any other way to describe the flavour, either. They retain their peppery kick, though, and I love them on pizza. The onions are... pickled onions. Pretty good ones. I like them. I still think the samphire is the best, even if it's not quite as good as it would be in better quality vinegar. On a wholemeal biscuit with a bit of mascarpone cheese, it's hard to beat.