Mouse Melons, Mexican Sour Gherkins, Cucamelon, whatever you call them, these little beauties certainly are unusual and well worth a place in your kitchen.
All of a sudden these little vegetables are getting popular. I had never seen one until a few months ago when the lady who runs my child’s daycare handed me one. “Try this” she said as she thrust it at me ” I have no idea what it is called but my friend grows them”. Never one to turn down a free vegetable, I popped it into my mouth. It looked like a tiny watermelon made for a Barbie doll and the taste was somewhere between a cucumber and a tomatillo. Interesting…
A few weeks later I was going through my weekly bad of vegetables from the urban garden collective to which we subscribe and there in the bottom of the bag was a little punnet of mouse melons. After a quick decision to maybe plant some next year I started searching online for seeds and it turns out that everyone in the area is sold out. These little babies are taking the veggie world by storm. I love a good vegetable fad!
So now that I have a punnet of these little guys what should I do with them? I could make a salad and eat them whole ( I do love a little sour in my food) but instead I stayed close to my usual habits and I got out the vinegar. It was time to make some pickles. Big pickles are good and tiny gherkins are great so just imagine what these little guys would be like pickled? It turns out that I am not the first (or even the hundredth) person to figure this out. An internet search came up with recipe upon recipe for these little melons and so after reading through a good few, I decided that I was going to go with what I know and what I love. A good, old fashioned garlic dill. Luckily I had a bunch of dill in the early stages of drying on the window sill that was looking a little worse for wear and so I was off.
This recipe could not be more simple. It is the very basic recipe for a garlic dill and you can take it in any direction that you want. A few chilli flakes added in have never gone astray or even some pepper corns for a little extra heat. Because these little melons are a little special, I wanted to keep it relatively simple and classic. This pickling mixture can be use for any kind of pickle really and it is really the ratio that is important. For me, the key is packing in the dill and the garlic so that you have something at the end of the wait that is packed with flavour.
Next time you are at a farmer’s market or are lucky enough to come across these little guys at a green grocer definitely jump in and grab some. It is not often that you come across a taste that is completely new and these are definitely that. I cannot wait the 4-6 weeks for these to pickle so that I can grab some cheese and dive right in.
Cute, different and the perfect conversation starter! These mouse melon pickles priceless!
Mouse Melon Pickles
The perfect tiny pickle using the cutest little melon on the block!
- 2 cups mouse melons
- 2 cloves garlic
- 6 or so sprigs of dill ( a good handful)
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp pickling salt
- Bring the vinegar, salt and the water to the boil on in a small saucepan.
- Pack the garlic, dill and mouse melons into a mason jar making sure to layer them as you go to maximize the flavour distribution.
- When the vinegar solution is just boiling and the salt has dissolved, pour it over the mouse melons in the jar and seal it up.
- Leave the pickles to pickle to 4-6 weeks and then enjoy!
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