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Quick Pickles


Cookery writer Maria recommends the use of an accompaniment to ‘balance the flavours’ of your charcuterie board…

Quick Pickles Recipe


  • 1 cup (240ml) rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup (240ml) water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small dried hot chilli, such as chile de árbol (optional)
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 4 small carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 or 2 Persian cucumbers, cut into spears


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, chilli, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add the carrots to the pot and cook for 1 minute, then add the cucumber spears and immediately remove the pot from the heat.
  3. Let the pickles cool to room temperature in their brine.


The pickles can be made ahead and stored in their brine in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Further Information

Boards, Platters, Plates by Maria Zizka
Book Review by Henrietta Green

Boards Platters Plates Book ReviewBoards, Platters, Plates the latest book from US-based cookery writer Maria Zizka is a visual feast. Presentation is king for her ideas for Recipes for Entertaining, Sharing and Snacking. Without a doubt - sharing is the most important aspect.

Thirty boards are included ranging from starters to platters for cocktail parties and finishing with six suggestions for sweet platters. While they have a US influence rest assured, the recipes offer measurements in cups, metric and imperial, useful for all-comers.

There may be only two boards with charcuterie as the key ingredient, but Maria does give an insight into what makes a good board.  She believes there are no rules but rather it’s a process that should be fun to create and eat.

Every arrangement should tell a story - of the seasons or maybe, how the meats were made - whether smoked, air-dried or salted. The art of arranging focuses on creating a theme whether of colours or textures or techniques.

One useful and very practical tip is to consider how people will eat the various ingredients, so small knives, spoons and even little bowls for discarded olive stones should be added.

Another is to Balance the Flavours. So having chosen your meats, she says you must balance them with crackers, a crunchy, tangy, pickled ingredient such as whole caper berries or her Quick Pickles, a wholegrain mustard and even something “unexpected” - Green Almonds anybody?

Enjoy re-creating Maria’s Hoagie Bar - it’s make-your-own sandwiches on a grand scale and, as with all her boards, the presentation is superb. May it inspire to follow her and who knows – even to experiment and mix and match yourself.

Credit: Excerpted from Boards, Platters, Plates by Maria Zizka (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2021. Photographs by Erin Scott.

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