We came back from the holidays few days ago and I am still struggling to find the rhythm and the usual routine, not that I am a strict person with a fixed daily routine, I am a pretty messy human being and that will affect my little chubby pumpkin (my daughter) for sure, but I was trying my best before leaving to create one, or a sort of routine.
Be back has been nice and painful at the same time. Nice because my little one was having problems adapting to all the changes and was cranky and moody like never before, while since we are back she transformed herself into a cuddle-saurus rex (yes, I made it up. In Italian it sounds coccolosaura, which is far better, still made that up, but I don’t mind the english version, isn’t that cute?) and is kissing and hugging everybody and talking like crazy.
Painful because I have to be the woman of the house again, not that my partner doesn’t do a thing, but I work part-time now and I have far more time off that he has, so of course I expect from myself to do more chores than him. Things that my mom does so much better than me. Cleaning, organizing, scheduling and creating a routine. It is already a miracle if I manage to eat two days in a row at the same time.
I am so proud of my mom, too bad I didn’t inherit those skills from her, sob sob. The nickname she gave me was Attila, that should give a clear vision of me, considering that the confusion is outside and inside me.
Anyway…We got back and everything is on me again.
During my holidays I didn’t cook once. I actually never cook when I go to visit my parents. First because mom’s food is mom’s food no matter if you are a pub chef or a Michelin restaurant chef, second because I asked them not to make me cook. It is something that I do for work and relaxing to me means to not touch a pot as well, even though cooking is my obsession. A third reason is that if I would cook something for them It would be something with my touch, not traditional Italian, and I know 100% that my parents wouldn’t like it, as my partner never likes what I do for him, unless it is typical Italian, too light, too many veggies, weird fruits and veggies combos, not enough proteins and so on.
The last meal we had at my parents house before leaving was one of my favorites when I was a kid: RICE SALAD! A mixture of boiled rice, cheese, sausage, tomatoes, eggs and pickled veggies. I tried so many times to recreate this dish here in England with Russian pickles, Polish pickles, English pickles, Latvian pickles, and it never came out right because of the different flavor profile those pickles have, due to the type of herbs they add to them. I just needed Italian CONDIRISO. Condiriso is produced industrially by different brands and it is a combo of veggies, capers, olives, corn and sometimes a sort of frankfurter sausage, in veg oil. It is made to just season the rice salad, but of course you can eat it by itself. It is the key ingredient to many moms rice salad. To me a rice salad is not complete if you don’t add to it condiriso. Point.
So I had to find my own version. My condiriso is not exactly as the one you buy pre-made, but it has the light vinegar taste and the sweetness typical of the store bought one. I can eat it straight from the jar how much I like it. And the good part is that you can put the type of veggies you like the most in the quantities you prefer. Just play with it and find your own version.
- 150 g carrots
- 300 g cauliflower
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper
- 1 small white onion
- 50 green olives (I used the those stuffed with bell pepper, but the normal ones can be used)
- 50 g capers
- 100 g sweet corn
- 60 g peas
- 1.5 liters water
- 345 g white vinegar
- 345 g seed oil (any veg oil will do)
- 4,5 tbsp granulated white sugar
- 1,5 tbsp sea salt
- Peel the carrots and chop them in small pieces, around the size of a pea.
- Chop the cauliflower florets as small as the carrots.
- Do the same with the bell pepper and onion.
- Slice the olives in around three pieces.
- In a pot mix water, vinegar, oil, sugar and salt.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add to the boiling water carrots, onion and cauliflower and let it boil for 4 minutes.
- Add the peppers and let it boil another minute.
- Strain the veggies out of the pot keeping the liquid and mix them inside a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
- Split the veggies into three 750 ml jars and pour the hot liquid inside them.
- Bang the jars to the counter to get rid of the air bubbles and close with the lid.
- Flip them upside down and let them cool down completely.
- Enjoy after a week.
- Once opened store the jar in the fridge.
- If you prefer and feel safer that way, boil the jars half an hour inside a deep pot filled with water.
- I do pickles all the time and I use that technique only for certain recipes. I think this one is pretty safe without pasteurizing the jars after filling them, but it is up to you, of course.
- The proportion of the veggies can be changed. I love cauliflower, and that is why it is the main ingredient in this pickle recipe (and all my pickles recipes, actually), but feel free to add more carrots or pepper or more of the other ingredients. Just try to keep the total always the same or you will not manage to fit them in the jars otherwise.