Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Making Piccalilli from home-grown vegetables

It's that time of the year again when the lure of Piccalilli can be heard calling from the green tomatoes, cucumber, celery, cauliflower, onion and green peppers. You cannot beat a home-made piccalilli relish for bringing to life savoury dishes, cheese, rices, tagines or meat (if you eat it).

Much to my surprise and delight, I found two jars in the store room just the other day. They are from last year's batch and still wonderfully fresh and crisp. We just couldn't resist opening one. Enjoyed with chestnut stuffed marrow last night for dinner.

The recipe I use is one which has been in our family for at least 5 generations. I have still to taste one that can beat it. They don't sell mustard powder in Spain so I usually bring it back with me, along with several litres of malt vinegar, when I return from the UK.

We have published this recipe previously but felt it was worth repeating two years on. Let me know how you get on with it if you decide to make it. We usually double this quantity.


2 cauliflowers
1 cucumber
2 lb of shallots or onion
2 lb of green tomatoes
1 head of celery

About 6 lb of vegetable in total. Chop all the vegetables into small pieces. The cauliflower should be broken into small sized florets and if small enough, the shallots left whole. Soak overnight in a brine solution made with 8 pints of water and 1/2 lb of salt.

The following day, drain and rinse well, leave to drain whilst you make the sauce.

4 oz of mustard powder
1/2 oz of Turmeric
1 lb sugar (can be reduced if necessary)
2 1/2 pints of vinegar
1 cup of plain flour

Make a sauce with all the ingredients, thicken with the flour and gently bring to the boil to cook out the flour. Be careful not to burn the sauce, stir constantly. Add the dry vegetables and bring to the boil and immediately remove from the heat. Cover and leave to cool. Bottle and seal in sterilised jars the following day and label. Hide from everyone except your best friends....


  1. oh my - making my mouth water just looking at those jars!

    1. Thanks - the half jar left over from bottling will not last long or have time to mature, of that you can be sure.


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