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Piccalilli

August 31, 2011

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Makes 3 pints

This sweet and brightly colored pickle relish with a funny sounding name probably came to New England from India, brought by sailors on whaling ships, or on clipper ships in the China trade. The British version, sometimes called India relish, often contains cauliflower, zucchini, and turmeric, while in the American South you will find cabbage among the ingredients and it is called chow-chow. Serve it with hamburgers, hot dogs, or a plate of ham, pork, or cold cuts.

2 pounds green (unripened) tomatoes
2 large white onions
1/3 cup coarse kosher salt
2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 large carrots, grated
2 red bell peppers, seeded and grated
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and grated

1. In a food processor fitted with a coarse grater attachment, grate the tomatoes and onions. If you do not have a food processor, chop finely by hand.

2. In a large bowl, layer the tomatoes and onions with the salt. Set aside for 4 hours.

3. In a colander set in the sink, drain the tomatoes and onions. Rinse 3 times in generous amounts of cold water to remove most of the salt. Drain again. With your hands, press out excess liquid.

4. In a soup pot over medium heat, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, cloves, allspice, turmeric, carrots, red and yellow peppers, and drained tomatoes and onions. Bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

5. Ladle into sterilized jars, seal, and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 months. Or process the jars while still hot in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (see instructions) and store in a cool place for up to 1 year.

Sally Pasley Vargas