Waiting time: 2 days
Vegetable "achards" are particularly easy to make. They are served as an accompaniment (to rice, grain or curry dishes) or even as an hors-d'oeuvre as part of a more European menu. On Reunion Island, it's not uncommon to find achards served as a sandwich filling - perfect for vegetarians.
Achards are an oil-packed hors-d'oeuvre that will keep for only a few days, because the vegetables have only been blanched, not cooked. On the other hand, you can extend their keeping time by adding a few spoonfuls of salt and storing the jars in the refrigerator.
While the original recipe comes from Reunion Island, these hors-d'oeuvres are also found in the French West Indies, where different vegetables are sometimes used. In fact, almost any vegetable can be used to make achards.
- Peel and cut the vegetables into thin strips; blanch in boiling water with the pinch of salt for 5 minutes; drain and dry well with a kitchen towel;
- mash the garlic, ginger and chili in a mortar with the vinegar;
- heat the oil in a pot without letting it bubble; add the saffron;
- place the vegetables and the seasonings from the mortar into a large bowl; pour the hot saffron oil over top and combine well;
- let marinate for two days in a cold place before serving; or while still very hot pack into hot sterilized jars.
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