Shades of Pink

At the restaurant we pickle everything: cucumbers, chillies, mushrooms, kohlrabi. A stellar favourite of mine is pickled red onion: a shocking tangle of pink that I have a tendency to put on everything (from lamb and labneh, to mackerel and beets).

But in the last month, I've developed a new obsession. One with a more understated vibe: I can't get enough of this palest of pale, pink pickled rhubarb: 

And it couldn't be simpler: finely sliced forced rhubarb, fresh ginger, pink peppercorns and cloves - tossed together in a bath of sugar and vinegar.

Honestly, try it. Here are my basic pickling rules:

1. Use equal measures of vinegar, caster sugar and water. Dissolve over a low heat and bring gently to the boil.

2. Put your pickling object of choice in a large heatproof bowl. Add a tsp of salt, then any aromatics you fancy: for 400g rhubarb I use 40g sliced ginger, 1/2 tsp bashed pink peppercorns and 2 cloves.

3. Pour the pickling liquor over the other ingredients and let it all cool. Jar it up, leave for at least 24hrs, then grab a sweet/sour/salty hit at every opportunity.

Be warned: it's addictive.