Piccalilli Relish

Piccalilli, Piccadilly, Chow Chow. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I have never heard of any of these relish type situations before until a week or so ago. Piccalilli or dilly- I’ve seen it called both, is different from chow chow. I think. From what I can tell and what friends tell me, both are sweetish spicyish sourish relish recipes, similar to sour kraut. In looking at different recipes posted online, there are a lot of different piccalilli recipes, many of which are handed down through generations. It is popular in the UK and The South. Various recipes call for various veggies, so you can pretty much use anything that will not fall apart sitting in a jar full of liquid.

Ever since we had a bbq a few weeks back at work and I had a ginormous hotdog with hot grilled sour kraut, I have been craving the stuff. I looked at recipes but there are things like crocks and words like fermentation involved and no. Not right now. Piccalilli is salted and left to sit for 4 to 24 hours and then essentially boiled in the pickling spices and placed in jars. That I can do. Especially since I was only making enough for several jars. No canning needed, assuming we would eat it up quickly. CSA box veggies unite! Time to use this stuff up!

Piccalilli Relish:

4 small carrots

3 small red tomatoes

1/2 large yellow onion

1/2 small cabbage

1/2 small romanesco

1 cup green beans

2 jalapenos


Peel, slice and dice all your veggies up and start layering them in a large bowl. All veggies need to be 1/3″ thick or less. About every inch or so, sprinkle with a good amount of salt. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and let it sit for four hours.

At around four hours, combine the following ingredients in a cheesecloth tied with string:

2 Tbsp lightly crushed mustard seed

1 Tbsp lightly crushed peppercorns

1/2 cinnamon stick – I hammered it with my marble rolling pin :)

Place bag in a large pot with the following ingredients and simmer for ten minutes:

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup Lucero Blackberry Balsamic*

1 Tbsp tumeric

1/2 tsp salt

Add all your veggies and simmer for 15 minutes or until the harder pieces of veg soften up.


Once everything has simmered down, add your veggies (no juice) to two large jars. I used two I’d cleaned out and saved from previous foodstuffs.  Add the liquid until there is about 1/2″ of space at the top. Let it cool on the counter and then store in the fridge for eatery! Or you can follow some fancy USDA canning guidelines and make a big arsed batch of this stuff. It is that good. Next summer perhaps I will attempt it.


 I’ve opened one jar several times and eaten a spoonful. It is SPICY. It is sweet. It is sour. I love it. This relish is a great way to use up veggies you have but don’t necessarily eat on a regular basis – carrots for us are one of these. How many can you really eat? And we got them every. single. week. with our csa share this year.

Can’t wait to eat it on hot dogs Friday night with homemade tater tots. Enjoy!

*A note about the Blackberry Balsamic I used in this recipe. I was gifted a lovely bottle of this great stuff from the fine folks at Lucero, after I fell in love with with their olive oil, and asked to come up with a recipe using it. If you love blackberries and good balsamic vinegar, you will love this. I would not specifically name a product I was using without truly enjoying it myself.  This particular blend is sweet, but also hearty enough that you can use it with olive oil for dipping bread in, or in a salad dressing. Click on the pic above to take you to their site.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 + = nine

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>