Mark Hix recipe: Pickled Greengage and goat's cheese salad

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

I did a pickled greengage recipe from Charles Campion a few years back, but I've included it again here as it's so good. You could use little damsons instead of the greengages. Hard, semi-hard or hard cheeses are best, or soft goat's cheese broken into little nuggets. You can serve this as a starter or a cheese course.

40 or so pieces of pickled greengage (see below)
80-90g goat's cheese, such as Ticklemore
A couple of handfuls of small salad and herb leaves, preferably a single leaf (rocket, silver sorrel, land cress etc)

For the dressing

2tbsp of the pickling liquid from the greengages
1tsp Tewkesbury or Dijon mustard
2tbsp rapeseed oil
2tbsp vegetable or corn oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk all of the ingredients together for the dressing and season to taste. To serve, toss the leaves in some of the dressing then arrange them on a plate with the greengages. Using a peeler or sharp knife, shave the cheese on top of the leaves and spoon more dressing over.

For the pickled greengages

2kg damsons or greengages, halved and stoned
1 litre white distilled vinegar
500g granulated or caster sugar
The seeds from 20 cardamom pods
2tbsp green peppercorns
5g mace blades
12 dried red chillies

Pack the greengages into 4 or 5½ litre sterilised kilner or preserving jars with an equal proportion of the spices in each. You may need more or less depending on how tightly they are packed.

Meanwhile, boil the vinegar and sugar for a couple of minutes, stirring a couple of times, until the sugar has dissolved.

Pour the hot liquid into the jars, seal the lids, then turn the jars upside down for 15 minutes or so to seal the lids.

Then turn the jars back up, leave them to cool, and store in a cool place for up to six months.

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