It is a big week for us. Friday marked our first official day as country representatives, and tomorrow we are moving into our new house. The thought of unpacking after 6 months makes me giddy! This week's transition seems more final than the previous ones, it feels like we have finally arrived at our destination, Haiti is home. As we have explored Haitian culture through food, pikliz was our first culinary attempt. Pikliz is a beloved Haitian condiment; a pickled cabbage dish with spices and citrus notes, that often accompanies rich or fried foods. Our usual make-taste-adjust routine was somewhat stymied, when after our 9th batch, we just couldn't seem to get a consensus from our Haitian friends and co-workers, of the flavor profile for the perfect pikliz. More heat, more sweet, less sour, more citrus, less salt, more salt, add color, more crunch. Finally we figured it out, there is no perfect master recipe. This is our favorite version of our many, many batches. Enjoy tinkering with the recipe to make pikliz your own. This tangy condiment is fantastic with all manner of meat, hot dogs, burgers, and stewed dishes.
Yield: approximately 4-6 cups
- 1 small head cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots, shredded
- 3 bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 6 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 4 green onions, finely chopped
- 3-5 scotch bonnet peppers (if you desire a spicer end result, split the peppers open and cut into quarters, otherwise, cut them in half)
- 6 garlic cloves, halved
- 6 whole peppercorns
- 4 whole cloves
- 1/2 tablespoon citrus salt (substitute kosher salt)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 sprig fresh thyme)
- 1 cup lime juice
- 1 cup sour orange juice (substitute sweet oranges)
- 2 cups cider vinegar (or enough to fully submerge vegetables, can substitute with lime or sour orange juice)
- Mix together all the prepared vegetables and herbs in a large bowl or large zip-top bag until well combined.
- Mix together the liquid ingredients and spices and pour over the vegetable mixture. Add additional vinegar or citrus juice as necessary to ensure that all the vegetables are submerged.
- Mix everything together to evenly distribute the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.
- We like allowing our pikliz to mellow and deepen in flavor for a minimum of a few hours before serving, preferably overnight. Keeps well refrigerated for a week or two, as long as the vegetables remain covered in liquid.
Rebecca Shetler Fast is originally from Waterloo, Ontario, and most recently called Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania home. Rebecca is a clinical social worker with a focus on trauma and addiction. She has been in the shared role of Representative for MCC Haiti, along with her husband Paul, since April 2016. In her free time, Rebecca cooks and photographs for the couples' food blog.