Cook the Book

Piccalilli From 'My Irish Table'

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[Photograph: Kate Williams]

Piccalilli is a heavily spiced Irish relish derived from Indian pickles. Cathal Armstrong's recipe in his new cookbook, My Irish Table, blends golden beets, cipollini onions, cauliflower, and radishes with a vinegary paste made with turmeric, mustard, and sugar. The resulting relish is assertive, tangy, and earthy—it pairs exceptionally well with rich stews and braises like yesterday's shepherd's pie.

Why I picked this recipe: I'm an avid pickler, but I'd never heard of, much less made, piccalilli.

What worked: On its own, this relish is a bit overpowering, but it is the perfect match for heavy entrées.

What didn't: I wasn't a huge fan of the whole (basically) raw onions. Next time, I'll add them to the boiling beet water for a couple of minutes just to take the edge off. The cauliflower could also benefit from the same treatment.

Suggested tweaks: This recipe makes a lot of piccalilli. Cut the recipe in half unless you're a piccalilli fiend.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of My Irish Table to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. She blogs at Cooking Wolves. Follow her @KateHWiliams.

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