Friday, September 24, 2010

Piccalilli

We've had a tepid Summer in Montana with lots of rain. It wasn't weather that our garden needed to flourish. So, here it is the end of September and there are more green tomatoes on the vines than we've picked red tomatoes.

My friend, Jady at Cucino Panzano urged me to try her grandmother's recipe for Piccalilli that dates back to the 1800's! Jady says that this recipe is so perfect, she hasn't tweaked it a bit over the years.
The simplest of ingredients turned out to be a flavorful and aromatic relish. I haven't tried it with any meats yet, but I had more than a few spoonfuls before I canned it! It is delicious!
If you're lucky enough to have a garden with lots of green tomatoes leftover at the end of the season, or a neighbor with a garden, I hope you'll try this lovely, sweet relish for yourself!

Piccalilli - adapted slightly from Cucina Panzano
8# sliced green tomatoes (weigh after slicing)
3# sliced onion (weigh after slicing)
1/2 cup salt
4 cups apple cider vinegar
5 cups granulated sugar
16 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks

In a large pot, alternately layer sliced tomatoes and onions, sprinkling with salt between each layer. Cover pot and let stand overnight, unrefrigerated.

The next morning, drain the vegetables, but do not wash them. Put the cider vinegar into the pot, add sugar, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Heat to boiling, until sugar has dissolved. Add tomatoes and onions and cook slowly until the vegetables are just tender. Remove from heat, cover pot, and let set overnight, unrefrigerated.

The next morning, bring the piccalilli to a rapid boil, stirring well. Do not cook anymore. Remove cinnamon sticks. With a slotted spoon, fill canning jars with vegetables. Fill jars with hot liquid leaving 1/8" headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

This recipe made six 1-pint jars (2 cups).