Now I love some piccalilli with a cheese and meat platter, so scrumptious and delicious and a great way to use up vegetables. A wonderful pickle that is fab all year round! This however takes time and patience and needs at least 4 weeks (I keep mine for 6-8 weeks minimum before opening).
It is important to allow yourself 2 days to prepare the piccalilli properly. The first day is spent chopping and prepping the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Sounds tedious but when serving you want to have small bites rather than large chunks of vegetables.
Once all your vegetables are prepared they must be salted and left to sit for 24 hours. This process draws the water from the vegetables and leaves them with that all-important crunch as they are added to a hot paste before being jarred. Missing this important step will leave you with excess moisture in the jars and soggy vegetables, not appetising at all.
The spice mix is what gives you that beautiful yellow colour and the cornflour is what thickens the sauce.
Makes 4 x 300g jars
- 1kg washed, peeled vegetables – select 5 or 6 from the following: cauliflower or romanesco cauliflower; green beans; cucumbers; courgettes; green or yellow tomatoes; tomatilloes; carrots; small silver-skinned onions or shallots; peppers; nasturtium seed pods. My base is always cauliflower and green beans and then I add others as I see fit or have in my fridge.
- 50g fine salt
- 30g cornflour
- 10g ground turmeric
- 10g mustard powder
- 15g yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
- 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
- 600ml cider vinegar
- 150g granulated sugar
- 50g honey
- Cut the vegetables into small, even bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Mix well, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a cool place for 24 hours.
- The next day, rinse the veg with ice-cold water and drain thoroughly to ensure all salt has been washed away.
- The spice blend is what gives you that delicious yellow colour. Blend the cornflour, turmeric, mustard powder, mustard seeds, cumin and coriander to a smooth paste with a little of the vinegar (I use my nutribullet to blend before adding the vinegar).
- For this next step open a window the strong smell of vinegar will almost knock you out in your kitchen! Put the rest of the vinegar into a saucepan with the sugar and honey and bring to the boil.
- Pour a little of the hot vinegar over the blended spice paste, stir well and return to the pan. Bring gently to the boil. Boil for 3–4 minutes to allow the spices to release their flavours into the thickening sauce.
- Remove the pan from the heat and carefully fold the well-drained vegetables into the hot, spicy sauce.
- Pack the pickle into warm, sterilised jars and seal immediately with vinegar-proof lids. Leave (if you can) for 4–6 weeks before opening. The longer you leave it the more mature the flavour. Use within a year. Once open use within 4 weeks.