Piccalilli making marks the climax of the gardening season.  The allotment has been oozing with self-grown vegetables by now. And despite all our efforts to use it all in our daily cooking, the sheer abundance of produce is just too much to eat. This is when our old-fashioned recipe comes to rescue.

My gran and mum were both passionate about saving overgrown courgettes from the compost bin. It amazed me as a child that they always managed to create a delicious condiment from something as unappealing as a marrow.

Piccalilli has its unquestionable appeal of something equally old-fashioned as luxurious. All those years we were invited to a picnic at the Henley Regatta piccalilli was a must on the table.  It complemented all the cold meets, posh pork pies and sausage rolls stunningly.  The recipe we use belongs to our friend Olivier, a talented French chef, who was behind all the cooking for this grand occasion.


  • 1 small cauliflower into small florets
  • 3 large onions diced into 1cm
  • 3 large shallots diced into 1cm
  • 1 cucumber peeled and de-seeded – cut into 1cm cubes
  • 350g marrow peeled and de-seeded – cut into 1cm cubes
  • 600ml white wine vinegar
  • 300ml malt vinegar
  • 350g sugar
  • 50g English mustard powder
  • 25g turmeric
  • 3tbsp cornflower
  • ¼ tsp dried chilli
  • 40g salt



Mix onion and cauliflower with 25g salt and leave for 24h.

Mix marrow and cucumber with 15g salt and leave for 20min.

Rinse and pat dry.

Boil vinegar and chilli. Leave to cool down and strain. Bring back to boil, add sugar and dried ingredients, whisk in and boil for 3min. Pour over the vegetables and place in the sterilized jars.