As anyone with a veg patch or allotment will know, you just can’t beat homemade produce. Around this time each year I’m given bagfuls of runner beans, the only problem is, I’m not particularly keen on them. For me, the only time to eat ‘runners’ is when they’re young and tender and liteally burst in your mouth.
Alternatively, you can always make a few jarfuls of homemade piccalilli which as luck would have it, if you make now will be ready just in time for Christmas. N.B: For best results use distilled vinegar rather than malt as it produces an altogether brighter, sunshiney yellow condiment.
Makes: 8 x 450g jars
450g runner beans
4 sticks celery
4 garlic cloves
1 large cucumber
1200ml distilled vinegar
50g Coleman’s mustard powder
2 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp allspice
2 tbsp mustard seeds
275g granulated sugar
150g plain flour
Chopping board and sharp knife
3 litre preserving pan
Here’s What You Do:
First preheat the oven to 200C
Slice the aubergine into 1cm thick rings and brush both sides generously with sunflower oil. Arrange on a baking tray and slide onto the top oven shelf for 15 minutes, turning them over half way through. Put aside and leave to cool.
Meanwhile prep all the vegetables.
Start by chopping the garlic and onion into small dice and put aside. Break the cauliflower florets into small, bite size pieces and add to the prepared onion and garlic. Next slice the runner beans into ½ cm pieces and put aside in a separate pile. Slice the cucumber in half lengthways, then into quarters and remove the seeds then cut into small dice and add to the pile of runner beans. Lastly, chop the celery into small dice.
Now pour the vinegar into the preserving pan and add the mustards seeds, sugar and allspice powder and place over a high heat.
When the vinegar is boiling rapidly throw in the onions, garlic and cauliflower florets then cover with a lid and reduce to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes.
Next add the runner beans, cucumber and celery and simmer for a further 3 minutes, then strain through a colander into a large bowl and leave to drain.
Meanwhile, mix the flour, turmeric and mustard powder to a paste with a little water, then stir in the reserved vinegar. Place over a high heat and bring to a rolling boil for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
Stack the aubergine rings on top of each other and cut into dice then add to the vegetables in the pan and stir well. Spoon into sterilised jars while still warm. Cover with a lid and store for 3 months before eating.