I am totally addicted to pickles, there is nothing that can’t be significantly improved by the addition of a layer of spicy- sweet goodness, cheese , ham , even fish benefits from a few slices of gerkins or capers, ( if you dare risk tuna in the current furore I can reccomend tuna and gerkin sandwiches). The whole top shelf of the fridge is devoted to a range of pickles and chutneys picked up from stall and shops, even outside houses.
Despite my addiction I have never tried making my own and pickle or chutneys. They do provide an excellent was of preserving bumper vegetables crops , so in preparation for our summer harvest , I spent last weekends rainstorm making pickles from the vegebox leftovers.
Second a picalilli , this for me is luridly delicious, you can use any vegetables though cauliflower and green beans are a classic combination, I went for cauliflower and a cucumber , no beans on plants yet. Many of the recipes I read called for salting the vegetables first , but the recipe did not suffer from skipping this step
These pickles go there outing just a week after making when yesterday my mum & step-dad stopped by on their way back from holidays in Northumberland . After
hours stuck in traffic jams we ate in gorgeous sunshine . The pickles makng perfect accomaniment to some home-boiled ham, , hunks of homemade bread, and biting mature cheddar, even a few pickled onions for extra pickliness.
I will definitely making more home-made preserves just need a few more gallons of vinegar and pounds of sugar
300g cauliflower florets
1 large white onion finely chopped
150g of cucumber diced
500ml malt vinegar
2 tbsp of mustard seeds
25g plain flour
1tbsp english mustard powder
½ tbsp turmeric, or to taste
2 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp malt vinegar
- Cut the vegetables into 1cm pieces
- Put the vinegar and mustard seeds into a stainless steel saucepan, bring just to boiling point, lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes; allow to cool.
- Mix together the flour, mustard powder, turmeric and ginger in a good sized basin, add the three tablespoons vinegar, stir to make a smooth paste. Pour the spiced vinegar over the ingredients, make sure the mixture is smooth.
- Pour into a large saucepan and stir over a low heat until as thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon without running off.
- Add to the thickened sauce. When this has reached simmering point simmer for one minute only, so the small pieces keep a good shape and texture.
- To bottle spoon into hot sterilized jars and cover.