Maine Cauliflower and Tomato Pickle

A mixed vegetable pickle from New England, Maine Cauliflower and Tomato Pickle is flavoured with wine vinegar, ginger, mustard and brown sugar. Serve the pickle with cold or leftover meat dishes. Use only young, firm vegetables for the pickle, as they will keep better. Store the pickle in clean, dry vacuum-sealed glass jars.

The flavour of the pickle will improve if it is stored for at least six weeks before using.

2 medium-sized firm cauliflowers, separated into flowerets

1 ½ lb. firm tomatoes, quartered

4 medium-sized onions, coarsely chopped

1 medium-sized cucumber, coarsely chopped

6 oz. salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon black pepper

8 oz. soft brown sugar

1 teaspoon pickling spices

1 pint white wine vinegar

Arrange the vegetables in layers in a large deep dish, sprinkling equal amounts of the salt on each layer. Pour over enough cold water to cover the vegetables. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and set it aside in a cool place for 24 hours.

Drain the vegetables, discarding the liquid. Place the vegetables in a large colander and rinse them thoroughly under cold running water to remove the excess salt. Drain off the water, shaking the colander, and place the vegetables in a large saucepan.

Sprinkle over the mustard, ginger, pepper, sugar and pickling spices. Pour over the vinegar.

Set the pan over moderate heat and bring the liquid to the boil, stirring frequently.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but still firm when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the pan from the heat. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables from the pan and pack them into pickling jars.

Pour in enough of the cooking liquid to fill each jar. Wipe the jars clean with a damp cloth and seal the jars with their vacuum lids. Label the jars and store them in a cool, dry dark place.

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