In need of some Christmas gift inspiration? Want something that looks and tastes like way more effort than is actually involved? Look no further than home made piccalilli. Your lucky recipient will think you’ve injected literally hours of love and care – the reality is an inexpensive crowdpleaser that once you’ve salted your veg, you can whip up in less than half an hour.
I absolutely cannot get enough of the stuff. I might even keep all these jars for myself.
The hardest bit is chopping and salting a small mountain of your favourite vegetables. As with most things, your own version is always going to be interplanetary light years away from anything you’ve bought from the shops. The best thing is, you can experiment with whatever combination of crunchy vegetables, variety of honey and flavoured vinegar you like (I’m currently waiting for a batch of stunningly vibrant beetroot, carrot and smoked garlic to develop). These take a good six weeks to mature, but I’ve had a sneaky taste the next day and still been pretty damn wowwed.
1.5kg mixture of yr favourite crunchy veg chopped into bite-sized chunks (I used 1 small cauliflower, 4 bulbs of garlic, 2 heads of broccoli, 3 small leeks, 1 red onion, 3 courgettes)
80g sea salt
60g rice flour
20g mustard powder
1 tbsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp grated nutmeg
2 tsp. nigella seeds
2 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
2 tsp. coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, finely chopped
500ml cider vinegar
500ml red wine vinegar
300g caster sugar
- sterilise your jars by rinsing well in hot soapy water and then drying in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes.
- toss the vegetables thoroughly in the salt and leave in the fridge overnight in a colander with a bowl underneath.
- The next day, mix the rice flour, turmeric, mustard powder, mustard seeds, nutmeg, nigella, cumin and coriander together in a bowl. Mix the vinegars together and add enough to the turmeric mixture to form a runny paste. Stir in the fresh ginger.
- Heat the sugar, honey and remaining vinegar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. You might want to open a window at this point.
- Scrape in the turmeric mixture and boil for about 5 minutes.Stir well.
- Fold the hot vinegar mixture into the vegetables and load up the hot jars. Leave for 6 weeks. (If you can)