September 15, 2013 Fall’s in the air, so we harvested some of the green tomatoes and made piccalilli, or green tomato relish. The condiment is an American version of a mixed Indian pickle. The Wikipedia entry on piccalilli is wrong. It states that piccalilli is not commonly served in the South, when, in fact, both the word and recipes for Indian pickles entered America via the slave trade, which was centered in Charleston. It is generally made in the South with green tomatoes. The following recipe is from my book on Lowcountry Cooking, but you needn’t follow the instructions exactly as long as you keep the proportions the same. We didn’t have enough bell peppers and we didn’t have celery or mustard seeds, but we used powdered mustard, a little less sugar, and added some Dr. Brown’s CelRay soda we had on hand! We also added a variety of peppers from the garden. The relish is delicious.
I like to serve it with composed rice dishes, with greens, with cowpeas or butterbeans, or stirred into potato salads. It’s also a good accompaniment to grilled poultry, pork, and oily fish.