Hot Piccalilli

The great thing about piccalilli is that it can use up a variety of vegetables. Top Tip: root vegetables don't work very well. Instead, go for things like cauliflower, cucumber, courgettes, beans, marrow, pickling onions, shallots - even sweetcorn kernels.

Piccalilli is one of my favourites. There's nothing better than a spoonful with some freshly baked ham, pork pie or a tasty cheese.

Courgettes aren't something that we would typically grow (or buy). In fact, if I dare to put them into the supermarket trolley Mr P either asks "what have I done wrong?" or says "Courgettes? Food of the devil". So they're not exactly top of the list! I agree, on their own they are pretty tasteless, but they are good for bulking out things like a homemade chilli or bolognese sauce and they are great thinly sliced and added to a quiche.

Earlier this year however we did acquire a courgette plant. So, Mr P begrudginly planted it (I did notice in not the best place, I'm sure he wasn't that bothered if it didn't grow that well!).

But, the courgette plant flourished. So much so, we ate plenty of sauces with roasted courgette. But, one day we made a discovery. A rather large discovery as it turned out. A courgette that was well on it's way to becoming a marrow. It was time to take action. Time to make Piccalilli.

Hot Piccalilli Recipe - makes about 1.4-1.8kg (3-4lb)

3lb / 1.4kg Prepared Mixed Vegetables - I used courgette, cauliflower, onion

8oz / 225g salt

2 teaspoons turmeric

4 teaspoons dry mustard powder

4 teaspoons ground ginger

3oz / 84g white granulated sugar

1 pint / 570ml distilled white vinegar

2 tablespoons cornflour

Chop the mixed vegetables into small pieces and place them in a bowl in alternate layers, covered with salt and leave overnight.

Next day (don't leave the vegetables more than 24 hours or they go soft), rinse in cold water and drain thoroughly.

Put most of the vinegar into a pan and add the spices and sugar. Bring to the boil.

Next, add the vegetables and simmer the mixture until the vegetables are very lightly cooked but still crisp.

Blend the cornflour with the remaining vinegar and stir into the vegetable mixture. Boil for a couple of minutes and stir gently.

Pack the vegetables into hot, clean sterilised jars using a slotted spoon and top up with the remaining sauce. Cover and seal immediately and label once fully cool. It's ready in about 4 weeks.

Top Tip: use wide necked jars to make it easier to fill the jars.

Sorry - we don't take responsibility for your house smelling very pickly for a day or so!

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