This sweet mustard pickle is a favourite on sandwiches, in traditional Ploughmans' Lunches and as a great addition to a cold meat and cheese platter. 

Brilliant in a sandwich or with some cold roast pork... 


1 large cauliflower (about a 1kg)

1 kg onions, peeled and finely diced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 sticks of celery, de-stringed and finely diced

½ cup brown sugar or 1 tablespoon of treacle

2 tablespoons each of : turmeric, mustard powder, mustard seeds, ground ginger, paprika, cumin

1 tablespoon ground white pepper

2 tablespoons of salt

½ tablespoon fennel seeds and caraway seeds

800mls white wine vinegar, white vinegar or malt vinegar (or a combination of all three for more complex flavour)

1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

½ teaspoon ground cloves

3 bay leaves

3 tablespoons cornflour, dissolved in a small quantity of malt vinegar

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

Few springs of fresh oregano and thyme

300 grams fresh green beans, cut to 4cm pieces or small pickling onions (optional)



Prepare your preserving jars by washing them thoroughly and allowing them to dry upside down on the rack in a 70-90°C oven while you make your preserve.  The jars will be hot, but not scalding when removed from the oven.

Cut cauliflower into little pieces, including the stalk.


In a large saucepan, add all the spices (not the fresh herbs) and the bay leaf.  Bring heat up until the mustard seeds just start to pop.  Add the onions, garlic and celery and warm through until just starting to go translucent add a little cold water if the pan is drying out.  Add the cauliflower pieces and ensure the spice mix coats everything evenly.  Reduce the heat to medium-low


Add the lemon juice and zest  then add the vinegar.  Stir through well and bring to a boil.  Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables start to 'settle' or sink down a little in the saucepan.  If adding beans or pickling onions, add at this stage.  Reduce heat to a low simmer and leave to cook uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Remove the bay leaves and prepare your warmed jars by placing a sprig of thyme and rosemary into each one. Stir in the cornflour mix and allow the cooking liquor to thicken.

Pour Piccalilli into jars and seal immediately.  Piccalilli is best stored for a month before eating and will keep for over a year in the pantry.  Once opened, consume within 10 days.