Piccalilli dates back to the 18th century. It is an interpretation of an Indian pickle made by the English. It is usually done with mixed vegetables, however in this case I made the recipe with squash because it is so plentiful in our garden this year.
10 lb mixed summer squash
6 cups white wine vinegar
1/2 cup honey (I used Oregon sage honey)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 oz ginger, minced
2 fresh spicy chilis i.e. cayenne or serrano (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup salt
2 Tbsp turmeric
1 Tbsp fennel seed
1 Tbsp black pepper
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
After you cut the vegetables to size toss with 1/2 cup of salt and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. This will pull out some unwanted water from the vegetables.
The next day, let the water strain from the vegetables while you are starting to prepare the pickle. I also like to have my jars and lids all sanitized before I start my pickle, as well as the pot for boiling the jars after so that the process goes smoothly. Once you have everything set you can start to make the pickle brine.
Start by sweating your garlic, ginger and chili with the olive oil. Once tender, add your vinegar, honey and 1/2 cup of the salt and bring that mixture to a boil. Then you can add the dry spices and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Once you have let the spices infuse into the vinegar you can add the flour. Make sure your whisk is handy, turn the pot to a medium heat and incorporate the flour. Cooking off the raw flour taste is key. Make sure to cook the pickle for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently so as to not burn the bottom. Once you have cooked out the rawness of the flour you will fold your drained vegetables into the pickle mixture, making sure all the vegetables are coated with the pickle.
Next step is canning! Fill the jars with the vegetables & brine mixture until there is about 1/4 inch space from the top of the jar. Clean the rims of each jar and put the lids tightly. Submerge the jars into the boiling pot for 10 minutes. Pull the jars out and let cool. A good sign is when you hear popping: then you know the jars have sealed.
Save these jars of summer for that cold winter day (or eat them as soon as the next day!)