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Homemade Piccalilli Recipe

As Lottie (my allotment) started to come into her own, I fond myself with a sudden glut of veg. But that's ok, because although there is only so much veg you can eat in a week, I really like to pickle and preserve and I will gradually do this over the months ready to store away for the winter.

As a child I remember my mum making piccalilli; I would peer over the counter top watching her chopping the vegetables from dad's garden and as I got older I would stand on a chair and help her.

Even as a child adored the smells and flavour. It was Boxing Day lunch that I remember most fondly, when mum would serve an array of cold meats with bubble and squeak and her homemade piccalilli and chutneys, the open fire crackling and our faces glowing as we all sat around the table devouring the boxing day feast!

And now I find myself doing the same, gathering the surplus veg and pickling and preserving it. I also like to gift it to family and friends around Christmas time; there’s something extra special about gifting something you have made yourself.


500g cauliflower cut into small florets

200g courgettes, I use a mixture of green and yellow for colour

100g French or green beans cut into small pieces.

200g of shallots, chopped into small chunks ( if you don’t have enough like me I just topped up with red onion)

600ml malt vinegar

3 tbsps of English mustard powder

1 tbsp coriander seeds

2 tbsps black or yellow mustard seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric

4 tbsps plain flour

2 bay leaves

200g caster sugar


Put all the chopped vegetables in a large bowl and sprinkle over 2 tbsps of salt, toss the veg so coated in the salt. Cover the bowl and leave for 4 hours or overnight.

Drain the vegetables and wash well with cold water and then leave to drain.

In a bowl, put 100 ml of the vinegar, mustard powder, coriander and mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric and flour and mix into a paste.

Heat the remaining 500 ml of vinegar in a pan and add sugar, bay leaves and a pinch of salt and heat stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

Pour the mustard paste mix into the pan and stir it in and heat and continue to stir for around 5 minutes until the mixture thickens. Tip the drained veg into the pan, coating them well and allowing them to heat for about a minute. The veg should still have a crunch.

Remove from the heat and pack firmly into sterilized jam jars and put the lids on and leave to cool. As the piccalilli cools it makes a vacuum and the jar lids will be sealed. Leave in a dark cupboard for 6 weeks to 3 months before opening. Once open keep refrigerated and use within four weeks.

Note: Jar sterilising

To sterilize your jars and lids wash them in hot soapy water remove any old labels and rinse. Stand the wet jars in a baking tin and the lids and put in a hot oven for approx. 10 minutes. You must allow the jars to cool a bit before spooning in the piccalilli but not be cold.


Meet Sue & Katie

Two women. Two generations. Both mothers and lovers of the county where they live. Blogging about Dorset here at Dorset Country Life. Find out more...

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