There is nothing nicer than getting a gift from a friend’s garden when they come to visit. And when that gift is a massive cauliflower the size of a beach ball, as my friend gave me recently, you could be excused for being overwhelmed. It arrived with its outer leaves still intact and tied up with a gorgeous red ribbon. I placed it outside in the shade, and that is where it sat for two days as I tried to decide what to do with it. I am a big fan of cauliflower cheese, so that was an obvious recipe to look up. But I’m also the only fan of cauliflower cheese or cauliflower anything in my house. So I was either going to eat cauliflower cheese solo for several weeks, or I had to find something else to do with it. Which is when I remembered cauliflower pickle, something the Italians serve as part of antipasti, but that I prefer the old Kiwi way, which is to put it in a yellow, mustardy sauce, similar to chow chow. This is not too sweet, which is the way I prefer it, but if you like it a little sweeter you could add a bit more sugar.
- Place the sliced onions and small florets of cauliflower in a glass or pottery bowl (not metallic as this will react with the salt). Sprinkle with the salt, give it a good stir with your hands, and then leave overnight covered with a tea-towel.
- The next day, drain off any liquid and put the vegetables in a large saucepan. Pour on the malt vinegar until they are covered and then add the dried chillies.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until cauliflower is cooked but still crisp. In a bowl blend the flour with the mustard, curry powder and sugar then mix to make a smooth paste with the juice.
- Stir this gradually into the vinegar and vegetable mixture until nicely thickened. This should take about five minutes. Have your jars sterilised and hot, then spoon mixture into each jar. Put the lids on and leave to cool.
To sterilise jars, wash thoroughly and put through a cycle of your dishwasher, removing while still hot. Or you can place in a 110C oven and leave for five minutes. If you have lids, wash them thoroughly, place in a saucepan of boiling water and boil for five minutes.