Monday, 30 November 2009

I said Piccalilli

I made this piccalilli about a month or so ago being prompted by a recipe I saw on Matron's blog Down on the Allotment. As recommended by Matron, I wanted to add some green nasturtium seeds to my piccalilli, but had not got round to picking any, so had to make this without. But if you get a chance to collect some and you may just be able to, then by all means please do add them to the piccalilli, I am sure they add a certain piquancy.

I was introduced to piccalilli quite late in life. It was never part of my childhood, but also perhaps because it is something that tends to accompany meat dishes, which I was never fond of either. As someone always willing to try new flavours, I sampled it for the first time at a friends house a few years ago and thought to myself that it would be good served with some home-made vegetarian scotch eggs and vegetarian 'not pork' but snork pies, so that was my motivation for making some.
As you can see, we have already eaten quite a bit from the first jar. D said to me that my version was 'a little too chunky', but other than that he thought it was much nicer than the shop bought variety he has tasted in the past.

I know it is such a long list of ingredients, but look at it this way, how often do you make piccalilli? Once a year or maybe twice a year, well in that case, don’t you think it is worth making your own. You know then exactly what has gone into it. You will need about 3 sterilized jars x 425g
Turmeric Infused Garden Vegetable Piccalilli
200g green beans and runner beans, topped and tailed and chopped in half
1 small cauliflower, divided into small florets
8 small onions
2 medium carrots, chopped thickly
75g sea salt
1pint white malt vinegar
2 bay leaf
½ tsp black mustard seeds
10 black peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 garlic cloves
25g plain flour
1 tbsp English mustard powder
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
100g golden caster sugar
Place all the vegetables in a large bowl. In a large bowl dissolve salt with two pints of water, then add all the vegetables to the bowl. Cover and leave in a cool place for at least four hours, preferably overnight.
Meanwhile, place the vinegar, bay leaf, mustard seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds and garlic in a large pan. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool for the flavours to infuse.
In a bowl mix together the flour, mustard, turmeric and ginger, add 2 – 3 tablespoons of the vinegar and mix to a paste. Strain in the remaining vinegar, then pour back into the pan. Add the sugar and bring to the boil t thicken slightly, stirring constantly. The sauce should be glossy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Drain the vegetables and rinse briefly under cold water. Add to the hot, spiced vinegar sauce and cook over low heat for 5 minutes until just tender. Spoon into sterilized jars and cover immediately. It should be ready in about three weeks, but apparently the longer you leave it, the flavour matures.


  1. Just what I have been looking for. I have an allotment and want to make chutneys. Thankx

  2. the colour of piccalilli is so enticing. I have a jar of my friends on the shelf just waiting to be savoured over Christmas. She said she liked the fact that you're not boiling it for hours so the vinegar smell doesn't invade the house like chutney can. It was lovely and all the more so knowing the veggies were home grown. Yours looks delicious too.

  3. Its something I grew up eating at Christmas with cured ham and we called it 'chow chow'. Because we no longer eat meat/ cheese (it adds a real kick to a cheese sandwhich, especially if there is hot pepper in the recipe), its not something we eat much of anymore.

    Really tempted to make some though, if for no other reason but to add my nasturium seeds, I'm sure I could find some fresh ones tomorrow.

  4. Such a gorgeous recipe! I'm so impressed with the beautiful golden color and all those luscious veggies!

  5. Mmmm, the flavour combo sounds lovely. I like the idea of making your own picacalilli - it looks very professional!

  6. yum! this is making my mouth water.

  7. Thank you Astra. I too was delighted with the colour and flavour.

    Thanks Rose.

    Thanks Marisa.

    OOh Kella,
    Next year I am going to add chilli for the extra kick and a nastitium version. I have decided I like piccalilli, esp. home-made ones.

    Thank you so much Sarah.

    Welcome Sandkat.
    I have checked out your various blogs. You will be a busy bee.

    Thank Nic.
    I liked this recipe for its simplicity too, plus it has many of my home-grown veggies, except for the cauliflower (boohoo).

  8. Piccalilli is one of the pickles we always have at Christmas too, yours looks delicious, think I would prefer it chunky.

  9. Wow! That looks and sounds really good! This is something new for me but I know for sure that I love pickles so I'd love to give it a try, thanks for sharing the recipe:)


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