This is one of my favourite recipes ever, it's a very old traditional method of pickling vegetables, I developed the old recipe with melon as it thickens the sauce part up when it melts rather than adding flour and the sweetness gives it another edge. This goes well anywhere there is chutney needed! Of course with a ploughman’s lunch it is divine.



450g salt

4.5 litres boiling water

2 cauliflowers (each weighing about 450g, broken into small florets)

450g peeled and halved baby onions suitable for pickling

450g topped and tailed, green beans cut in to four each

½ large cucumber, halved lengthways, seeds removed and then into 1cm pieces

225g courgettes, topped and tailed and cut into 1cm pieces

1 Rock or honeydew melon cut roughly into 2 cm pieces

275g caster sugar

1.5 litres of malt vinegar

2 cloves garlic, crushed

25g mustard powder

25g turmeric powder

15g ground ginger

½ tsp cayenne pepper




  1. 1. Mix the salt with the boiling water. Leave to cool.
  2. 2. Divide between two large bowls  in one bowl of salt water add the cauliflower and onions. In the other add beans, cucumber, courgettes and melon. Cover with a plate to keep the vegetables submerged and leave for 12-24 hours.
  3. 3.Drain the vegetables and rinse them well, still keeping them separate.
  4. 4.Put the sugar, garlic and 1.5 litres of vinegar into a large pan. Bring to the boil, add the cauliflower, onions and cook for just three minutes.
  5. 5.Add the beans, cucumber, courgettes and melon cook for a further 4-5 minutes.
  6. 6.The vegetables only want to be just cooked and the melon will break down to be a natural thickener.
  7. 7.Lift them out of the vinegar with a large spider or sieve into a large bowl and set aside.
  8. 8.Mix the mustard, turmeric and ginger powder with some of the vinegar to make a smooth paste.
  9. 9.Add to the rest of the vinegar mixture, bring to the boil, whisk and simmer for 10 minutes.
  10. 10.Stir the sauce into the vegetables, spoon into warm sterilised jars and seal with air tight lids.