A traditional English mustard pickle, Piccalilli is made from a variety of vegetables which are first soaked in brine, then pickled in vinegar. The finished pickle is yellow in colour owing to the presence of turmeric and mustard. The pickle may be served immediately it has cooled, but it improves with keeping and may be stored for up to three months. Piccalilli is usually served with cold meats. Use firm tomatoes if green ones are unavailable.
1 medium-sized cauliflower, trimmed and broken into small flowerets
1 cucumber, quartered lengthways and cut into
8 oz. pickling onions, peeled
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
4 green tomatoes, blanched, peeled and cut into chunks
6 oz. coarse salt
1 pint malt vinegar SAUCE
1 pint malt vinegar
3 tablespoons mustard seed, bruised
2-inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped, or
1 tablespoon ground ginger
4 garlic cloves, halved
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, bruised
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon dry mustard
4 oz. sugar
3 tablespoons flour mixed to a paste with
4 tablespoons water
Place the cauliflower, cucumber, pickling onions, Spanish onion and tomatoes in a large bowl. Sprinkle the salt over the vegetables and set them aside for 4 hours.
Drain the vegetables in a colander and discard the liquid.
In a large saucepan, bring the vinegar to the boil over high heat. Add the vegetables and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and simmer the vegetables for 15 minutes or until they are almost tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.
Remove the pan from the heat and drain the vegetables in the colander. Discard the vinegar. Place the vegetables in a large bowl.
To make the sauce, pour the vinegar into a medium-sized saucepan and stir in the mustard seeds, ginger, garlic, peppercorns, turmeric, mustard and sugar. Place the pan over low heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to moderate and bring the vinegar to the boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the mixture for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the liquid into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Discard the flavourings left in the strainer.
Rinse the pan and return the strained vinegar to it. Stir in the flour mixture and place the pan over moderate heat. Bring the sauce to the boil, stirring constantly, and boil for 2 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce over the vegetables in the mixing bowl. Using two spoons, toss the vegetables until they are coated with the sauce.
Spoon the piccalilli into clean, warm, dry jars with screw-top lids. Spoon any sauce remaining in the mixing bowl into the jars, so that they are completely full. Place the lids on the jars and half screw’ them into position. Set the jars aside until they are completely cold. Screw the lids on firmly and store the jars in a cool, dry place. xiiw