Pam’s piccalilli, a wonderful mixture of vegetables, pickled with spices. Delicious served with crusty bread, cold cuts and a cheeseboard.
In time for Christmas every year Michelle makes piccalilli. Her family love it, my family love it and our friend Laura’s Dad stops Michelle is the street to ask when his jar will be ready! It is uncertain where piccalilli originated. It is suggested that piccalilli is the English interpretation of Indian pickles. This sounds plausible given the ingredients and spicing. One thing for sure is it’s not Canadian! I asked Michelle what started her making in the first place? Quite simply it was her husband Steve, a Yorkshireman who loves piccalilli but can’t stand shop bought . To this end I’m in total agreement with him as I find mass produced piccalilli often too sweet or artificial in taste.
Ideal over Christmas with cheese, ham and other cold cuts. Michelle also loves it with her traditional Christmas meat pie. Laura’s Dad happily eats it off a spoon and Michelle’s daughter Becca only eats the cauliflower. This recipe is not Michelle’s own but it is the one she goes to every year, it’s Pam’s piccalilli from the River Cottage website. This is not our own recipe, instead we are sharing this link with you in case you fancy giving it a try – it’s well worth it and just in time for Christmas.
Pam's Piccalilli (from River Cottage)
- 1 kg mixed vegetables - wash & peel 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
- 50 g fine salt
- 30 g cornflour
- 10 g ground tumeric
- 10 g English mustard powder
- 15 g yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
- 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
- 600 ml cider vinegar
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 50 g honey
- Cut the vegetables into small, even bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Mix well, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a cool place for 24 hours, then rinse the veg with ice-cold water and drain thoroughly.
- Blend the cornflour, turmeric, mustard powder, mustard seeds, cumin and coriander to a smooth paste with a little of the vinegar. 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. Set aside in a cool, dark place and leave for 4–6 weeks before opening. Use within a year.