In the final of my series of recipe trials from Colin Fassnidge, of restaurant 4fourteen in Sydney, I saved the one that excited me most till last.
Growing up with a Grandmother who was more English than the Queen, piccalilli featured large at her table; and one of the staples of my schoolgirl lunchbox was sandwiches with Heinz Sandwich Spread, which is a mixture of Salad cream and Piccalilli. Not having a sweet tooth, I eschewed Honey or Jam in favour of this tangy, creamy and crunchy spread. Safe to say it falls heavily into the category of things best left to childhood, however I haven’t lost my love of vinegary flavours. Just refined my palate a little.
I was excited by the idea of making piccalilli, never having done so previously, as I tend to give cauliflower a fairly wide berth. Again wary of this dish making dinner late again, I salted the vegetables early in the afternoon, so as to have less to do come tea time.
I was terribly disappointed in this meal. The vegetables were raw and the soapy taste of raw beans overpowered the mild dressing and I left the table feeling quite despondent. HOWEVER, as with the previous meal there was a great deal of salad leftover, and dislike not being sufficient reason for food waste in my kitchen, I boxed it up.
It regarded me balefully from the fridge for a couple of days before I ate it and through the magic powers of semi-fermentation the vegetables had transformed! The salad was still crunchy but the flavour of the mustard and particularly the chilli had been allowed to develop and it was absolutely delicious. The colour of the radish had leaked a little, but I am always happy to sacrifice pretty for flavour.
I give this recipe a good 7.5/10, but hasten to add, if, like me, you don’t like that soapy raw taste make this a few days before you plan to eat it, and give it time to really mature. Add the spinach and parsley just before serving with the cutlets.