This is the classic English vegetable pickle and the recipe is courtesy of one of my favourite books, “Preserved” by Nick Sandler & Johnny Acton. This and my sister Charlie’s tomato pickles are my two favourites. I use this combination of vegetables because its so colourful, but you could use almost any vegetable you liked. It should always have cauliflower though.
You need to start it the day before, and you should make sure you’ve got enough jars before you start because you don’t want a mad jar hunt after you’ve already made the pickles, which I did once. Half a dozen 375ml empty jars will be about right.
1.2 kilos vegetables cut into tiny, ie 1-2 cm pieces (I use cauliflower, red capsicum, corn cut off the cob, cucumber, carrot and a small onion. Cauliflower should make up the most part of it)
2 tablespoons of salt
50g plain flour
1 tablespoon turmeric
50g mustard powder (in the spice section of supermarket)
½ white pepper
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground (powdered) ginger
150 ml apple cider vinegar (from health food stores if not in supermarket)
5 tablespoons additional apple cider vinegar
250 ml malt vinegar
dash of water
Put the vegetables into a large bowl, add the salt, and mix through. Cover with glad wrap and refrigerate overnight. The salt will extract moisture from the vegetables so they will have a light crunch, and not turn soggy.
The next day, drain the salty water off the vegetables. In a large saucepan that is not yet on the stove, place the flour and all the spices and mix with the 5 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to form a paste. Gradually mix in the remainder of the cider vinegar. Tip in the veggies, then stir in the malt vinegar and the water.
Place on the stove and gently heat, cooking like this for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. You don’t want the temperature too high – below medium will be right. And don’t cook for longer than 20 minutes because the veggies will go too soft.
Sterilise jars by boiling them then drying in a just warmed oven. Spoon the pickles in and wipe any spills around the jar rim with a clean cloth then seal tightly with the lid.
The pickles can be eaten straight away. They will keep in the refrigerator for six months but once opened they should be eaten within six weeks.