Friday, July 10, 2009

Cauliflower mustard pickles

When I attended Regional Flavours recently, one of the stall holders was selling jams and cauliflower mustard pickle. Everyone was raving about the pickle, so I tried it too, despite it being visually rather repulsive to me (being cacky yellow). Boy, was I pleasantly surprised! It was delicious - just the right blend of sweet and sour to tickle my tastebuds.

When I mentioned the pickle to my Mum, she said that she used to make it. I honestly can't remember her making it, but it inspired me to have a crack at it myself.

Armed with a cauliflower, a bottle of white vinegar and some mustard, I looked up a recipe for cauliflower mustard pickle in the Schauer Fruit Preserving Book. (Later, I found a few recipes on the Internet that were a lot less vinegary - oh well, maybe next time!)

Because this recipe was in old measures, and I was only making a half batch, I had a guess at a lot of things, including how much cornflour to use as thickener. However, my pickles worked out OK in the end, and are delicious in corned beef sandwiches, where the salty meat and the sour pickles play off against each other.

To make your own cauliflower mustard pickles, you will need:

1/2 head large cauliflower, divided into florets
salt solution (50g salt dissloved in 500ml cold water)
500ml vinegar (recipe suggested malt vinegar; I used white vinegar)
1 tablespoon mustard (I used Masterfoods Australian mustard)
1/2 tablespoon turmeric
1/4 cup cornflour
extra cold vinegar

Soak the cauliflower in the salt solution overnight, then drain. Mix the cornflour with just enough vinegar to make a paste. In a large saucepan, combine the 500ml of vinegar, the mustard, the turmeric, and the cornflour paste, and bring to the boil. Add the salted cauliflower, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened. (You may need more or less cornflour; you need just enough to thicken the pickle.) Spoon the pickled cauliflower into sterilised glass jars (I used 2 x 300ml jars for this quantity of pickle).

Spread the pickle on thick, crusty bread in place of margarine, and top with corned beef, tomato and cheese, then toast in a sandwich maker - delicious!


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Great idea and cauliflower seems to be in season too! :)

Anonymous said...

cauliflower mustard pickles sound interesting. I've never actually pickled anything.

The Blonde Duck said...

How interesting!

♥Rosie♥ said...

I do like Pickle Lilly so I know a spoonful of your cauliflower mustard pickle with a ploughman’s lunch would go down a storm - YUM.

Cakelaw said...

Hi Lorraine, yes, cauliflower is very cheap at the moment so it is a perfect time to pickle them.

Hi Wendy, I had never pickled before either - I am not a huge fan of this kind of thing, but was surprised at how much I enjoyed this on a sandwich.

Hi Duckie, it was new to me too - and was deflated when my Mum airily told me that she'd made them years ago.

Hi Rosie, so agreed - this would be perfect for a ploughman's lunch. Pickle lilly - now there's a term I haven't heard for a while, but it's kinda cute.

Leslie said...

This sounds AMAZING! I just made some curried cauliflower pickles, but this is in its own league!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Leslie, it's funny how something like this has always been around, but I'd never heard of it until I went to the Flavours event. I really am surprised by how much I like it.

Anonymous said...

Must add at least 12 ounces of sugar to recipe. Otherwise bitter