Piccalilli, piccadilly, chow chow, millionaire’s relish - with some variation and disagreement over technique, these names all seem to point to the same thing. Essentially, we're talking about a mix of brined and pickled vegetables. We say a relish by any other name still tastes delicious.
As far as we can tell, piccadilly relish seems to be a way of preserving all the surplus veggies and bumper crops at the end of the summer.
A mix of sweet peppers and onions were nearly consistent across all the recipes we found. Some recipes add cabbage, others add cauliflower. The piccalilli recipe in our copy of Joy of Cooking incorporates a few quarts of cucumbers. Another recipe for chow chow in an old family church cookbook calls for 24 green tomatoes.
Most recipes have you mix the chopped vegetables with salt and let the mixture sit overnight to brine before canning. Mustard and celery seed are common canning ingredients, as are turmeric, black pepper, and sometimes cloves.
As far as how to use this relish once you’ve made it, the sky is really the limit. We could see it on hot dogs and sandwiches, with baked beans or rice dishes, or spooned over grilled fish. It would make a fantastic appetizer with a little goat cheese on a crostini, too. With so much going on, this is the relish to beat all other relishes.
Here are a few recipes to check out:
• Piccadilly Recipe from An Edible Mosaic
• Piccalilli Recipe from Yankee Magazine
• Green Tomato Chow Chow Recipe from the Food Network
• Amish Chow Chow Recipe from Experience Ohio Amish Country
Or buy a jar to try! Places like the Loveless Cafe in Tennessee sell it for around $6 a jar (pictured above).
Do you have a favorite version of this relish?
Related: Book Review: Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon
(Image: Loveless Cafe Hams and Jams)