Before setting off to create a big batch of Piccalilli, we set out our ingredients.

Pardon the Piccalilli

Ask a random English person about Piccalilli, and they will know what you’re talking about. The results if you were to instead ask an American, however, would most likely be greeted with a very confused expression. As one such American, I have recently had my first glimpse of the yellow pickled veg mixture, and was a bit thrown off by the sheer yellow-ness.

As our chef whipped up a large batch for use in sandwiches, I watched to gain some insight into this interesting and intriguing jarred sandwich filling. Preparation doesn’t take too long, but the waiting time is high for this, but well worth the results.

The concept is simple enough, as it’s just pickled vegetables in a sauce. You can stick to the basics of cauliflower, cucumber, onion, tomatoes, and beans to create a lovely Piccalilli, but it’s easy to make this recipe your own, and make it a little more exotic by adding mangoes, peaches, lemons, French beans, carrots, or gherkins.

Whatever flavours you decide to go with, the instructions are pretty much the same. Slice and dice all vegetables into small pieces, toss with salt in a large bowl and leave for 24 hours. The following day, rinse the vegetables with several changes of water and drain for at least 30 minutes. Prepare the sauce and place into sterile jars, which should be sealed immediately and left to mature for a month. Serve it as a filling with meat and cheese in sandwiches, as an addition to sweet and sour dishes, in an omelette, as a topping for a burger or hotdog, or on crackers with cheese.

 

Before setting off to create a big batch of Piccalilli, we set out our ingredients.

Before setting off to create a big batch of Piccalilli, we set out our ingredients.

The second step of the process is to let the vegetables sit in a bath of salt water overnight.

The second step of the process is to let the vegetables sit in a bath of salt water overnight.

This is the result after adding the seasonings and letting it simmer.

This is the result after adding the seasonings and letting it simmer.