Saturday, 26 September 2009


This is one of those pickles that I have never really warmed to - I grew up with my grandmother making this - and I still have images of a yellow yucky pasty thing with green bits in it (memory from my childhood). It was the green bits that were the yuck factor then - but tastes change as you get older.

I have a batch of this on the go at the moment - photos to follow when I have time to down load them as things are a tad hectic here at the moment.

That is until last year when I received the "Preserves" River Cottage Handbook No 2 ISBN978-0-7475-9532-8, By Pam Corbin with foreword by Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall. If you haven't got this one - then you really should its a wonderful little book and the recipe for Picalilli is wonderful. Its the best recipe I have come across yet. Most probably due to the fact that it is dry brined, which helps the vegetables stay nice and crisp.

Makes 3 x 340g jars
1kg mixed washed, peeled vegetabls choose at least 5 or 6 from the following list:-
Cauliflower; or Romanesco
Cauliflower; or green beans
cucumbers;courgettes green or
yellow tomatoes;tomatillos
carrots; small silver skinned onions
or shallots; peppers;
Nasturtium seed pods

50g fine salt
30g cornflour
10g ground turmeric
10g English Mustard powder
15g yellow mustard seed
1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
600ml cider vinegar
150g granulated sugar
50g honey

Cut your choice of vegetables into small even bite sized pieces. Place in a large bowl/bucket and sprinkle with salt. Mix well combining the salt into all the vegetable pieces then 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.[ I have found from experience that it needs a good few washes to get rid of any excess salt].

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 the 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 thick spicy mustard sauce. Pack into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately with vinegar proof lids. Leave if you can for at least 4 to 6 weeks to mature before opening.

This is one preserve I have to keep out of other half's mitts as he'd eat the lot. I only made one batch last year but this year am doubling up as everyone who has tried this one loves it. He takes a pot of it with him on his fishing trips and his fishing friends very occasionally get to taste it. Needless to say it has been a big hit with them. One of his mates reckoned he had not had proper picalilli like this since his mum was alive. Lets say its converted me but only to this recipe.

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Meet the Moggies

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