Piccalilli Relish

Recipes for this relish vary widely according to regional tastes and vegetable availability. Using bits and pieces of produce during autumn garden clean-up, piccalilli relish includes turmeric and gingerroot to yield a rich yellow colour and accent the spices.


  • 5 cups (1.25 L) finely chopped cabbage
  • 4 cups (1 L) chopped, unpeeled green tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) chopped onion
  • 1 cup (250 ml)Each: chopped red pepper, chopped green pepper
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) pickling salt
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) pickling spices
  • 4 tbsp (60 ml) peeled, coarsely chopped gingerroot
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) mustard seed
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) turmeric
  • 1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar
  • 3 cups (750 ml) vinegar
  • 1 3/4 cups (425 ml) water


  • In a large glass, enamel or stainless steel bowl, combine cabbage, green tomatoes, onion, red and green pepper with pickling salt; mix well. Cover; let stand overnight.

Preserving Day

  • Place 7 clean 250 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner. Cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Keep jars hot until ready to use.
  • Preheating Bernardin® lids is not advised. The sealing compound used for our home canning lids performs better at room temperature than it does pre-heated in simmering water (180°F). Simply wash lids in hot, soapy water, dry, and set aside until needed. Preheating can lead to less vacuum being achieved during water bath canning, and to buckle failures during pressure canning.
  • Stir vegetables then drain in a colander; rinse with cold water. Drain thoroughly pressing out as much liquid as possible. Place vegetables in a large, deep stainless steel or enamel saucepan.
  • Tie pickling spices, gingerroot and mustard seed in a large square of cheesecloth, creating a spice bag. Add spice bag to vegetables. Stir in sugar, turmeric, vinegar and water. Cover, bring to a boil, uncover and boil 5 minutes. Reduce heat, simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard spice bag.
  • Ladle hot relish into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more relish. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining relish.
  • When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 10 minutes.*
  • When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
  • After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.