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The joy of pickling

19 September 2013


Pickling has been around for millennia, but we want to show you how contemporary techniques have made pickling a useful, innovative and most importantly, fun, way to preserve food today.

 

The addition of vinegar (pickling) to food acts as an antiseptic, creating an acidic environment that prevents the growth of food-spoiling bacteria. Shallots come to mind when we think of pickling, but many vegetables and fruits can be preserved in this manner, including cucumbers, cauliflower, apples and pears. You can literally pickle almost any salad or vegetable. Good old-fashioned piccalilli is our favourite, it’s having a revival and we’ve got just the recipe for you.

 

Piccalilli

Makes 6 x 340g jars

2kg washed, peeled vegetables - select 5 or 6 from the following:

cauliflower, radish, green beans, cucumbers, courgettes, green or yellow tomatoes,  carrots, small silver-skinned onions or shallots, peppers, nasturtium seed pods.

100g fine sea salt
60g cornflour
20g ground turmeric
20g English mustard powder
20g ground ginger
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
2 tsp crushed cumin seeds
2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
1.2 litres cider vinegar
300g granulated sugar
100g honey

  • 1.    Cut the veg into small, even, bite-sized pieces. Place in a large colander over a bowl, and sprinkle with the salt. Mix well, cover with a tea towel and leave in a cool place for 24 hours, then rinse the veg with ice-cold water and drain thoroughly.
  • 2.    Blend the cornflour, turmeric, mustard powder, ginger, 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.
  • 3.    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. Leave for about 6 weeks before opening. Use within a year.

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