Piccalilli is one of my favourite pickles. It is also one of the only ones I make. I am a confident gardener and can easily pour food into the kitchen. Cooking, no problem, but processing food for storage seems to give me trouble. For some reason I lack confidence in the whole jam and pickle thing, a fact not helped by the fact Dan once choked to death (seriously) on jam I made.
However, if I am to pull off the minor miracle of making sure we have food all winter I realise that preserving things is something of a necessity. But I got a bit overwhelmed this year by all my options.
I have a simple strategy I apply to most things. If I am a bit intimidated by something I look for somewhere to start that I feel most comfortable with because I know I have done it before. So, we came to piccalilli. I have made it before so I trust the recipe, it does not have a record of nearly killing one of us and it does not need to be sterilised post jarring in scary large pans of boiling water. Easy peasy.
It's also one of my fave recipes because it uses up the last of the summer's produce, even the bits that aren't quite right (however hard I try this is the only way I like green tomatoes). Easy, economical, gorgeous and that yellow is like a ray of sunshine on a cold winters day.
And as todays Waste Less Live More challenge is Share It I thought sharing my Piccalilli recipe (derived from one shared with me by my Mum) might be just the thing, so here it is...
3 Sterilised Jars (I do mine in the oven 10 mins on 120c)
250gm Green Tomatoes
250gm Mixed Veg (cauli, green beans, peas, carrots, celery, peppers all work well - experiment with your favourites)
35gm Plain Flour
15gm Mustard Powder
450ml White Vinegar
Chop up all vegetables into small pieces. Stir the salt into the water until it is dissolved. Soak the vegetable in the brine overnight.
The next day rinse the brine from the veg and put them in a large pan covered with cold water. Bring to the boil to blanch the veg and then drain.
Put the flour, mustard and turmeric in a stain proof bowl and mix with a little vinegar to make a smooth paste.
Add the paste, vinegar and sugar to a pan and stir while heating gently. As it heats it will slowly thicken. Do not rush this bit or you will have a lumpy much less pleasant sauce! (It is very like making fresh custard if you have ever done that)
Put the veg into a bowl and pour on the sauce, stirring gently until the vegetables and sauce are very well mixed (do not stir too vigorously or you will put lots of bubbles in it).
Put the lumpy yellow gloopy wonder into sterilised jars, stick a chopstick Into the mix a few times to release any bubbles, seal well and keep for a couple of months until you dig in.