This is a quick and easy pickle to cut through the richness of the Buttermilk-fried Chicken or to go with any cold meats and cheeses. You want the celery to keep its crunch so don’t cook it too long. Leaving it sitting in the sweet and sour poaching liquor means it will still take on plenty of flavour. If you wanted, you could add other vegetables such as carrot ribbons and sliced radishes to make it more substantial.
Separate the celery and cut each stick diagonally into slices about 1cm thick. Set aside in a large bowl.
Place a small pan over a medium heat and add all the remaining ingredients, including 50ml water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. You want a balance between sour and sweet. Allow to cool until warm.
Pour the pickling liquid over the celery and leave to cool completely before eating. If placed in a sterilised airtight jar (see tip) and stored in the fridge, the pickle will keep for up to a month.
HOW TO STERILISE GLASS JARS
To sterilise jars, and their lids, wash them thoroughly and allow to dry on a clean tea towel. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting, then place the jars and lids on a tray and heat in the oven for 30 minutes.