Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Friday, October 02, 2009

Making Piccalilli

This has to be one of my regular Summer and Autumn pickle rituals! I had a bit of a brainwave as I was chopping the vegetables this week. I went for a walk in the garden and found these hot, mustard tasting nasturtium seeds! It seemed like a match made in heaven, they were just the right size too! Soak the chopped veggies in brine overnight, then rinse and dry them. Simmer them for 20 minutes in white vinegar which has been spiced with sugar, dry ginger and mustard powder. Lift the veggies out of the vinegar and pack them into jars.
Thicken the boiling vinegar with a paste made from flour and turmeric. Bring to the boil for about 2 minutes till it thickens. Pour the yellow vinegar paste over the veggies in the jar. Did you know that turmeric is extremely useful in the kitchen as an antiseptic powder which stops bleeding if you cut your finger? It is also rumoured to prevent brain deterioration in old age!
It is ready to eat straight away, well when it cools down anyway. It keeps for ages, but will be just the thing with cold meats. My favourite way to eat picalilli is with my Mum's home made Scotch Eggs! Mum makes the best Scotch Eggs in the world!


At 6:57 PM, Blogger Helen said...

And you've reminded me of my mum's piccalilli (she died more than 20 years ago) -- plus, I even have nasturtium seeds. Perhaps I should give it a try. Thanks. (Might be too late for the brain, though.)

At 7:24 PM, Blogger mangocheeks said...

What a fabulous idea to use the nasturtium seeds in the piccalilli.

Its also a great way to stop them from self-seeding all over the place too!

At 12:38 AM, Blogger miss m (InfG) said...

And I quote: "Matron doesn't do flowers - you can't eat flowers!" Oh but you can. See ?
Those nasturtiums seeds should add a nice twist to your piccalilli !

At 5:28 AM, Blogger dinzie said...

I love Piccalilli ....Expescially the home made ones ... They make it far too sweet in New Zealand which spoils it I think .... They also call it 'chow chow' for some strange reason :O)


At 10:10 AM, Blogger Green thumb said...

I have to try this recipe.
Turmeric is a sine qua non in most Indian recipes, and that might be the reason why Alzheimer is relatively uncommon in India.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

I used to make piccalilli when I first got married. Husband doesn't like it though. He doesn't like any pickles! I happily eat through pounds of chutney per year but don't think I could manage pic too! It's such a colourful preserve.

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Green Thumb - I thought you might be familiar with the claims about the powers of turmeric.

At 7:54 AM, Blogger Matron said...

Miss M - you caught me red handed! actually I grow french marigolds to keep pests away from my tomatoes and I grow nasturtiums as a sacrifice crop to keep the blackfly away from my beans! I wondered if anyone would notice!

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

Hi Matron, fascinating info on nasturtium seeds, i knew the flowers were edible but not the seeds,can they be used in any other way?I will be adding turmeric to everything from now on!!


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