Purple Piccalilli with Saffron
This is the kind of purple that stands out as a pretty fancy hue on a Farmer’s Market trestle. Less so as a hair colour, which is where my thoughts immediately went when I picked up this cauliflower. Perhaps I’ve just sealed my fate for my elderly years. What can you do?
As a cauliflower colour, this is so, so lovely and really anything purple gets the vote in my ‘what veggies shall we plant’ book, so we do have some of these beauties growing themselves to an edible size in our garden but in this case the Farmer’s Market just got there first. Either way, there’s cauliflower ideas circling. In technicolour.
I sat this beautiful cauli next to some purple beans from our greenhouse and the incredible, incredible wildcrafted local saffron I picked up at the Full Moon Farm Gate recently, and it was Bollywood on a plate. It had to be something Indian inspired with that level of riotous colour going on. Purple Piccalilli with Saffron – a delicious dish and quite possibly a basis for an extra happy outfit.
This is so good with dahl, or a potato curry, or even just with chapati as a quick snack during the day. Freshly ground spices are the deal clincher and totally worth the mortar and pestle effort, so if I can be a tad bossy and insist on those, I know you’ll love piccalilli if this is the first time you’ve tried it. This recipe is adapted from Pam Corbin’s Preserves Handbook, such a great book for all things English in jars.
Purple Piccalilli with Saffron
makes 4 x 350g jars
1kg organic purple cauliflower and purple beans, cut into 3cm pieces
3 tbsp Himalayan salt
1/4 cup potato starch
5 tsp organic ground turmeric
5 tsp freshly ground organic yellow mustard seeds
1 1/2 tbsp whole organic yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp freshly ground organic cumin seeds
1 tsp freshly ground organic coriander seeds
2 1/2 cups cider vinegar (with mother if possible)
3/4 cup organic panela sugar
2 tbsp raw honey
10-15 organic saffron threads
Once you have cut the cauliflower and beans into similar sized pieces, sprinkle them with salt, mix through in a bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave for 24 hours. Rinse and drain. This helps to start the ‘cooking’ process without losing the crunch you want in your finished pickle.
Use a mortar and pestle to grind the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and 5 tsp of mustard seeds.
In a measuring jug or glass bowl mix the potato starch, turmeric, ground seed mix from the mortar and pestle with the whole mustard seeds. Add a little vinegar to make a paste and mix thoroughly.
In a saucepan, mix the remaining vinegar with the honey, saffron and sugar and bring to a boil. Take a little of the hot liquid and pour over the paste mix, stir and then transfer the paste mix back to the saucepan and continue cooking over medium heat until the sauce starts to thicken.
When the sauce is ready, remove from heat and add the drained vegetables. Stir to coat the vegetables and then pack into sterilised jars and seal with vinegar proof lids. Leave to mature in the fridge for 4-6 weeks and serve with your favourite curry or in a sourdough sandwich with cashew cheese and rocket. Good stuff.