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Piccalilli

  • A little tricky

Make this delicious winter ferment to add to sandwiches and soup with our easy recipe for piccalilli.

Ramkin of vegetables and crackers

This is a wintersome ferment, perfect for soup and sandwiches. The principles are largely the same, but here we’re going to wrap up chunks of vegetables in a sauce instead of squeezing water out of them.

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Ingredients

  • Cauliflower 500g
  • Carrot 2
  • Courgette 1, (avoid big seeds if there are any; use firm flesh)
  • Green beans handful
  • Red/yellow/green peppers half of each
  • Leek half
  • 2% sea salt

For the sauce

  • rice flour 20g
  • water 80g
  • Honey 10g

Spice mix

  • English mustard powe 2 tsp
  • turmeric 2 tsp
  • Coriander seeds 1 tsp
  • fenugreek 1/2 tsp
  • nigella seeds 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Method

  • Step 1

    Chop the vegetables into small pieces about 1.5cm square. Break the cauliflower into small florets and cut up any thick pieces of cauliflower stem. Rinse in a colander.

  • Step 2

    Weigh the vegetables. Calculate 2% salt. So if you have 754g of vegetables, you will need 2/100 x 754g = 15g of salt.

  • Step 3

    Add the salt to the vegetables and mix together gently so you don’t break up the cauliflower florets, then set aside. The salt will begin to draw water out of the vegetables, which will help to keep them crispy. 

  • Step 4

    Boil the rice flour, honey and water together in a saucepan until you have a thick gloopy sauce. Leave to cool.

  • Step 5

    Make up the spice mix.

  • Step 6

    Add the cooled sauce and the spice mix to the vegetables and mix with a wooden spoon or your hands (if you don’t mind being temporarily turmeric-coloured).

  • Step 7

    Pack the piccalilli mixture into your chosen jar, leaving about 4cm of headroom, eliminating air pockets as you go. Alternatively, use a ziplock bag.

  • Step 8

    As there is no brine here, it’s difficult to submerge the vegetables as such. For this short fermentation, you can place either a bag of brine in the jar, or a piece of greaseproof paper and a weight on top. There is little risk of mould, as the spices have their own antibacterial and antifungal properties.

  • Step 9

    Ferment for 4–5 days at room temperature. Pockets of carbon dioxide will form, but try to resist opening the jar until the time is up. After five days, smell and taste the piccalilli before refrigerating. You can leave it in the fridge to develop its flavour for several more days.

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