Piccalilli

Piccalilli is the perfect preserve for your festive table. Bite-sized pieces of Autumn vegetables fragrant with curry spices which is excellent with any kind of cheese or cold cut.

Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.

There was one word with which people always used to describe me; my school teachers, my work colleagues, my family, friends, strangers on the bus, the butcher, the baker, the weirdo on the corner. All of them would mutter a singular word in my direction as I floated past, filofax in one hand, iphone in the other. Organised.

Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.

I never really took kindly to that word, as surely it’s just another way of saying god she’s boring, always making those lists and getting things done. What a teacher’s pet. Boo, let’s all go off down the pub and leave her at home. Ha ha, what a loser.

I would also get the bum job of booking our holidays. This meant researching the itinerary, making a powerpoint with appropriately fun fonts to share with the world on a domain specifically bought for the purpose, taking all the photos on the trip then sorting them into the photobook on our return complete with on point bon mots, then printing them out for Christmas presents, sourcing personalised wrapping paper for every recipient and ribbons to match; finally making sure everything was couriered off a week before to ensure a proper punctual Christmas.

Ah, the good life. The me I knew and loved and now have lost. As then came baby.

Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.

My house keys are currently misplaced. For the third time in the past month. No doubt I will find them in a shoe or the blender in a week or two. I have forgotten numerous vet appointments (sorry Billy Buddy), play dates (sorry Cole). I have been to weddings and sent thank you cards three months after the fact, if at all (sorry all of this year’s newlyweds). I have a multitude of blog posts half finished, mostly for recipes that are now irrelevant with the changing seasons. I haven’t been out for dinner in about four months as I can’t be bothered to find a babysitter and I’m now just about to cancel our anniversary holiday at the end of the month as I haven’t got around to booking the hotel as quite frankly it sounds more hassle than it’s worth. Just the thought of another wrestling match with the travel cot from hell is enough to make me shudder.

Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.

There is one job though that I have forced myself to do, and blimey if I haven’t gone and completed it with weeks to spare. And that is my Piccalilli. To be fair, I had to finish it really as I’m planning on selling it at the Christmas fairs I am attending later this month and empty jars just don’t sell as well.

My Piccalilli is so important to make as it is the most popular preserve on my stall. Without fail it is the first to sell out but I have to make sure I keep a couple of jars back for my family each year, otherwise there will be cheese knives at dawn on Boxing Day if there is no Piccalilli to enjoy with the cold cuts.

For years I would make it just for us, sometimes along with another chutney or jam but the Piccalilli was the break out star and soon became the number one preserve that was clamoured for and I pretty much set my whole preserve stall up around it.

Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.

Now is the best time to make it as although you can eat it freshly bottled and has a lovely bright taste if you do, if you allow the Piccalilli to rest for a few weeks, the vinegar has a chance to mellow and the spices are given room to breathe and really envelop the vegetables.

The only real labour of making a Piccalilli is the chopping of the vegetables which I like to be bite-sized so they can nestle happily in a sandwich or on a cracker without weighing it all down. The vegetables should then be brined overnight which helps them retain their crunch. Then all that’s left to do the next day is to quickly poach them in vinegar and sugar before adding them into your delicately spiced curry dressing. I stick to the traditional vegetables of cauliflower, green beans, cucumber and onions. Although by using romescu and purple cauliflower the Piccalilli is given wonderful texture and a beautiful rich colour.

Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.

If you are thinking of making homemade gifts this year then I don’t think you can ever go wrong with chutneys and pickles, at least that’s what I say whenever I hand a festively wrapped jar over to an unsuspecting recipient. They always give a good show of being appreciative and that’s the main thing. Plus I think if I can pull myself together enough to knock up a few jars then it gives me hope that one day I can be that organised loser so beloved once more.

Print Recipe
Piccalilli
Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.
Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.
Course preserve
Cuisine British
Keyword cauliflower
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
10x 300ml jars
Ingredients
  • 1 white cauliflower
  • 1 purple cauliflower
  • 1 romescu cauliflower
  • 800 g small onions
  • 700 g green beans
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 3 red chillies sliced
  • 100 g salt
  • 1500 g white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoons ground allspice
  • 525 g granulated sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 50 g tapioca flour
  • 50 g cornflour
  • teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder I used a Jamaican curry powder blend but any will do
  • 3 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
Course preserve
Cuisine British
Keyword cauliflower
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
10x 300ml jars
Ingredients
  • 1 white cauliflower
  • 1 purple cauliflower
  • 1 romescu cauliflower
  • 800 g small onions
  • 700 g green beans
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 3 red chillies sliced
  • 100 g salt
  • 1500 g white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoons ground allspice
  • 525 g granulated sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 50 g tapioca flour
  • 50 g cornflour
  • teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder I used a Jamaican curry powder blend but any will do
  • 3 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.
Instructions
  1. Cut the cauliflowers, onions, green beans and cucumbers into bite-sized pieces then place in a large bowl, along with the chillies and sprinkle with the salt. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
  2. The next day drain the vegetables and rinse with cold water to remove the excess salt.
  3. Place the vegetables in a large preserving pan with the vinegar, nutmeg, allspice and sugar. Crush the garlic with the salt and add that in too. Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Take off the heat then remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon leaving the liquid behind. Pour the liquid into a separate jug and set aside for a moment.
  5. Sift together the tapioca flour, cornflour, turmeric, ginger, curry powder, mustard powder and pepper. Add 200ml of the reserved liquid and blend together to make a smooth paste.
  6. Pour the paste into the preserving pan and with the heat on very low, slowly pour the rest of the reserved liquid into the paste, whisking all the while.
  7. Bring to the boil, then cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  8. Add the vegetables back into the sauce, stirring to coat thoroughly. Turn off the heat.
  9. Decant into sterilised jars and store in a cool dark place until needed.

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Courgette Relish

Courgette Relish on a wooden box with forks

Pickled Golden Beetroot

Pickled Golden Beetroot

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

The Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road

This gluten-free Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road hits all the right notes; sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy and most importantly really chocolatey.

side view of stack of Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road bars on baking parchment on wooden board

Gosh Rocky Road is dangerous. It’s the kind of treat which you would make with kids in mind, maybe it’s a birthday party, or the school cake sale. It’s fine, it’s for the children, I am doing such a nice thing for them. Now here, let’s load it with sprinkles as that’s what children like.

Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road lined up on baking parchment

Now you might not really call yourself a sprinkles person, they look pretty but don’t really tell you what you’re about to eat is anything more than a fun whimsical food. Nothing I can’t handle. Here would be your mistake. You are underestimating this rocky road as you think you are making it for the children and the sprinkles are evidence of that.

ingredients in a bowl for Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road

You are wrong, this Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road is sheer nirvana, for adults and children alike, and if you are tempted to try a small square whilst you are cutting it up or arranging on the plate then don’t say I didn’t warn you as it will be highly likely that your lovingly prepared treats will not make it to little Jimmy’s birthday party and probably won’t contribute to raising money for new equipment for the school gym.

Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road lined up on baking parchment

The best case scenario is that you don’t eat the whole batch yourself. And if you think I’m exaggerating then let’s break it down.

Do you like chocolate? Why yes, I love chocolate. Do you like marshmallows? Well, I wouldn’t say no to them toasted over a campfire. What about sweet n’ salty popcorn? Does ordering a jumbo bucket at the cinema every Saturday evening count? Yes it does. Then yes, I’m in for popcorn. Glace cherries perhaps? They have a certain retro charm. Biscuits? Oh yes, dunked in my tea at 4pm every day. Some roasted cashews? Naturally, they are part of my very healthy lifestyle. Now mix the lot together and Bob’s your bingo, your diet is done-zo.

I should know, I have had several batches of this Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road come and go out of my fridge for the past two weeks and there is no saving me. And what’s more, I don’t think I want to be saved.

side view of stack of Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road bars on baking parchment on wooden board

Print Recipe
The Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road
This Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road hits all the right notes; sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy and most importantly really chocolatey.
side view of stack of Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road bars on baking parchment on wooden board
Cuisine British
Keyword gluten-free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
16 bars
Ingredients
  • 250 g dark chocolate
  • 150 g milk chocolate
  • 175 g soft butter
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 100 g sweet n’salty popcorn see notes for recipe
  • 125 g gluten-free digestive biscuits chopped and a little crushed
  • 75 g unsalted roasted cashews
  • 125 g glace cherries diced
  • 125 g mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons sprinkles
Cuisine British
Keyword gluten-free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
16 bars
Ingredients
  • 250 g dark chocolate
  • 150 g milk chocolate
  • 175 g soft butter
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 100 g sweet n’salty popcorn see notes for recipe
  • 125 g gluten-free digestive biscuits chopped and a little crushed
  • 75 g unsalted roasted cashews
  • 125 g glace cherries diced
  • 125 g mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons sprinkles
side view of stack of Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road bars on baking parchment on wooden board
Instructions
  1. Line and grease a 13 inch x 9 inch cake tin.
  2. In a bain marie melt the chocolate with the butter and golden syrup.
  3. Once melted pour in, in this order, the biscuit pieces, the nuts, the glace cherries, the popcorn, remove from the heat, then pour in the mini marshmallows. Coat thoroughly with the chocolate.
  4. Pour the rocky road into the prepared tin, then scatter the sprinkles evenly over the top. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set.
  5. Remove from the fridge and cut into squares.
Recipe Notes

SHOP THE RECIPE

The cake tin I use for all my tray bakes and sheet cakes is the KitchenCraft Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Baking and Roasting Tin, 33 x 23 cm (13″ x 9″) which I love because it’s robust and easy to clean.I always use a double boiler or bain marie when melting my chocolate as it’s much easier than finding a bowl that’s the right size that will fit the top of your saucepan and then the boil gets hot and how do you handle it? This KitchenCraft Induction-Safe Stainless Steel Double Boiler Porringer/Bain-Marie Pan, 16 cm (6.5″) is the one I use and is the perfect size. Double boilers are way more useful than you think they are going to be. I use one every time I melt chocolate, make a curd or make swiss meringue.

The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

Perfectly Sweet n’Salty Popcorn

As the nights draw in this Perfectly Sweet n’Salty Popcorn is the ideal accompaniment to snuggly September evenings on the sofa watching a movie in your cosiest pair of pyjamas.

popcorn in a bowl on a table

Something very exciting happened a couple of weeks ago, I’m only telling you about it now as we were on holiday last week so I’m sorry about the delayed news cycle but let me tell you, it was front page news in the Hartley household. Luke and I went to the cinema! Together! And there was no small person in sight. The last time I was this excited to go to the cinema was to see the Veronica Mars movie. Ahh, the 14th March 2014, a much simpler time.

popcorn kernels in a jar on a table

I have been craving the cinema for months and months, a chance to sit in a darkened room, watch a whole film from start to finish without any fear of being disturbed by the croak from the baby monitor. An opportunity to get lost in an epic story spanning generations, crossing continents with nuanced storytelling, creatively woven character arcs; a story of redemption and loves and lives won and lost.

So of course we went to see Bad Moms. Honestly my brain is so fried these days that to my mind this was honest to goodness Oscar worthy fare.

It was a pretty special evening, we even went out for fish and chips – in a restaurant. I know, right now I am blowing your mind. It was on a plate and everything. This is how fancy we are.

popcorn in a bowl on a table

I don’t know when or if I will ever get the chance to go to the cinema again, but a girl can dream and in the meantime we can watch films in this funny box at the corner of our room called a television. With the lights out, a complete ban on pausing the film to make tea, answer the phone or to go and see to a crying baby (unfortunately the last rule doesn’t always take) then it’s just like being at the Picturehouse. And it’s all because of this cinema worthy Perfectly Sweet n’Salty Popcorn. Do they even still do the sweet and salted flavours separately anymore?

popcorn in a bowl on a table

This popcorn has no fancy flavours but is a simple recreation of movie popcorn so you can pretend you’re out on date night again instead of nestled on the sofa, a dog on one knee and your bowl of popcorn balanced on the other. Who am I kidding, if the dog is anything like Billy Buddy then his nose is in that bowl and you are not seeing hide nor hair of any popcorn.

Perfectly Sweet n’Salty Popcorn is five minutes in the making and so much healthier than the movie-going version. The butter is browned to a nutty caramel, sweetened with a touch of sugar and flavoured with sea salt. No fuss and zero faff but you do get all the scent of freshly popping corn permeating the house and also the childish glee of taking off the lid of the pan too early to watch the popcorn fly across the kitchen. I’m just too keen.

butter being poured into popcorn in a bowl on a table

Print Recipe
Perfectly Sweet n'Salty Popcorn
Perfectly Sweet n’Salty Popcorn is no fuss and the ideal accompaniment to movie night
Perfectly Sweet n’Salty Popcorn is no fuss and the ideal accompaniment to movie night
Course snack
Cuisine British
Keyword gluten-free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
2-4 people
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 100 g popcorn kernels
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
Course snack
Cuisine British
Keyword gluten-free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
2-4 people
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 100 g popcorn kernels
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
Perfectly Sweet n’Salty Popcorn is no fuss and the ideal accompaniment to movie night
Instructions
  1. Drizzle the olive oil into a large pan with a lid. Turn the heat on and pour in the popcorn kernels so they spread out easily at the bottom of the pan. Place the lid on and leave for the corn to pop, it will take a minute or so to get going.
  2. Meanwhile melt the butter in a small saucepan with the icing sugar and salt over a medium heat. After the butter has melted it will start sizzling, leave it to sizzle and crackle and so it begins to turn brown. Once the sizzling has stopped and the butter is a nice nutty brown then remove from the heat.
  3. By this time the popcorn should also have stopped popping. As soon as the corn can go 3 seconds without popping then remove from the heat immediately so it doesn’t burn and pour into a bowl.
  4. Pour the sweet n’salty butter over the popcorn and stir well so it’s coated thoroughly.

SHOP THE RECIPE

Now, you can make the popcorn in any large saucepan with a lid but I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know that I always make my popcorn in my Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Round Casserole, 28 cm – Marseille Blue. It’s actually great as the popcorn doesn’t stick to the bottom of the casserole or burn as easily as other pans I’ve tried and can fit a lot of popcorn in it which is a bonus. It is pricey though and I wouldn’t recommend you buy if you are only going to make popcorn with it. We use it for everything from pot roasts, stews and stocks to making jams and chutneys. It’s large enough that it is great for so many purposes from sweet to savoury. I have the signature marseille blue colour as when I bought it I wanted it to match the old Le Creuset saucepans handed down to me from my dad but you can get them in other beautiful colours. Different colours are different prices so you can definitely get a good deal if you choose a less popular colour.

The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

If you like this recipe you might also like…

Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road

side view of stack of Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road bars on baking parchment on wooden board

Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam

This Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam is a firm early autumn favourite recipe. It’s tangy and not too sweet and best of all contains no added pectin. There are just four ingredients: wild blackberries, granulated sugar, limes and a couple of bramley apples to help it set. The flavour is superb and just an hour or so of work from start to finish will result in the most deliciously versatile jam you can eat all year round.

A jar of Wild Blackberry Lime Jam with a spoon in it and the ingredients surrounding

Blackberries must be one of my favourite fruits as it was only when I was skimming through my archives that I realised how abundant my blackberry recipes are compared to other fruits. That is mainly because of our household obsession with foraging. I am not the worst culprit believe it or not, Luke, who has to be pried out of bed most mornings with a chisel, casts aside the duvet with giddy abandon when those first blackberries start bursting through the hedgerows. All our foraging is done at dawn whilst walking Billy Buddy, much to his chagrin. As Luke delves deep into the blackberry bushes, poor Billy hops from paw to paw, barely bearing the wait until Luke is back on more solid ground again.

A teacup full of blackberries and a lime

We only have a small freezer but dollars for doughnuts you will always find this time of year the blackberries have stolen all the space. This Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam though has to be the recipe which you brandish victoriously when you’ve over indulged with the foraging. It was the first jam I truly loved as the juicy tartness of the blackberries and the zesty zing of the lime cut through all the sugar to create a really complex taste which is perfect for toast, for sandwich cakes, jam tarts and as a replacement filler in these oat bars.

A pot of Wild Blackberry Lime Jam

A bowl with Wild Blackberry Lime Jam

A workstation with utensils for Wild Blackberry Lime Jam

I have always made this jam seedless and it’s a little bit of a faff but there are pros and cons to it. The pro is that you don’t need to prepare the bramley apples, bar a bit of rough chopping, which get thrown in a preserving pan with the blackberries straight off the bat. Once the fruit has softened then they get passed through a sieve which is the faffy con bit. However, if you do a lot of preserving then I seriously recommend a food mill which make very light work of removing the skin and seeds from the fruit without losing any fruit pulp.

A jar of Wild Blackberry Lime Jam with a spoon in it and the ingredients surrounding

If you don’t have a food mill and are de-seeding by hand and sieve then you might have a bit more substantial seedy pulp left behind in the sieve. Don’t you dare throw this away you lucky ducks as it’s marvellous for making blackberry vinegar or blackberry gin.

Print Recipe
Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam
This easy Seedless Wild Blackberry and Lime Jam is a deliciously versatile four ingredient jam with no added pectin and a tangy zesty flavour.
A jar of Wild Blackberry Lime Jam with a spoon in it and the ingredients surrounding
Course jam
Cuisine British
Keyword blackberries
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
10x 180g jars
Ingredients
  • 1.5 kg blackberries
  • 500 g bramley apples
  • 3 limes zest of 2 and juice of 3
  • 1 kg granulated sugar
Course jam
Cuisine British
Keyword blackberries
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
10x 180g jars
Ingredients
  • 1.5 kg blackberries
  • 500 g bramley apples
  • 3 limes zest of 2 and juice of 3
  • 1 kg granulated sugar
A jar of Wild Blackberry Lime Jam with a spoon in it and the ingredients surrounding
Instructions
  1. Firstly place 5 saucers into the freezer and then sterilize the jars and lids by placing them in an oven heated to 100°C for 20 minutes.
  2. Roughly chop the apples without peeling or coring, then place in a large preserving pan with the blackberries. Heat gently until all the fruit has softened.
  3. Remove from the heat, then pass everything through a sieve or food mill.
  4. Replace the seedless fruit pulp back into the saucepan and keep the seedy fruit pulp for another purpose (like blackberry gin or vinegar).
  5. Add the lime juice and sugar to the saucepan and heat gently so all the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 5 minutes then turn off the heat and place on one of the cold saucers from the freezer. Leave for 1 minute then push the jam with your finger. If the jam wrinkles on the surface it’s ready. If not, then turn the jam back on a boil for a further 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and try the saucer test again.
  6. Once the jam is ready remove the scum from the surface of the jam and then stir in the lime zest.
  7. Decant the jam into the sterilised jars, screw the lids on tightly and store until ready to use.
Recipe Notes
  • The jam can be kept for up to 12 months if kept in a cool dark place

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream

Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream

Blackberry Hoisin Sauce

Blackberry Hoisin Sauce

Simple Brown Rice Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette

This Simple Brown Rice Salad is an absolute standby for any August barbecue, picnic or informal gathering. It’s easy and lazy – are you noticing a theme with my recipes of late? I’m hoping that most of these ingredients are already in your fridge so that if you are suddenly called upon to bring something to a large gathering you can bust this out with nary a stressful thought.

bowl of rice salad ingredients with lemon squeezer, vinaigrette and tomatoes in background

This simple brown rice salad can be played around with to your heart’s content depending on what ingredients you have in your fridge and barely needs me to structure it with a recipe but sometimes when inspiration fails you a little nudge in the right direction is needed.

bowl of rice salad ingredients with lemon squeezer, vinaigrette and tomatoes in background

The ingredients are made up of basic salad drawer stuff like celery, bell pepper, red onion, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. I have included flaked almonds for crunch but any nuts or seeds will do and I have used parsley and dill but again, if you have basil and coriander then go for it. However, the dill does work especially well and I think is a completely under used herb.

close up of simple brown rice salad ingredients

You can afford to cheat a bit with the pesto vinaigrette. I usually have a jar of homemade pesto knocking around my fridge but if all you have is Tesco own brand then use that – no judgment, after all you are making a salad and that is what should be celebrated, not that you have been given a slight helping hand with the dressing. Any type of pesto will do – green or red or coriander, whatever you have to hand. However, if you are using shop-bought pesto then the flavour might not be as punchy so have a taste and add more into your vinaigrette if needed.

close up of simple brown rice salad with a fork

The great thing about this simple brown rice salad is that it will pretty much go with anything else that’s on the table and it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days so can be prepared ahead of time. I am really thankful to have this rice salad recipe in my back pocket this summer and hope you will be too.

close up of simple brown rice salad with a fork

Print Recipe
Simple Brown Rice Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette
This Simple Brown Rice Salad with pesto vinaigrette is an easy recipe for any August barbecue, potluck, picnic or informal gathering.
bowl of rice salad ingredients with lemon squeezer, vinaigrette and tomatoes in background
Course salad
Cuisine British
Keyword rice salad
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
4 as a lunch or several people as part of a buffet table
Ingredients
  • 175 g brown rice
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 1 yellow pepper diced
  • ½ red onion finely chopped
  • ½ cucumber de-seeded, diced
  • 150 g cherry tomatoes halved
  • 40 g flaked almonds toasted
  • 2 large handfuls parsley finely chopped
  • 1 medium handful dill finely chopped
pesto vinaigrette:
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • juice of ½ small lemon
  • 4 tablespoons pesto (any kind, homemade or shop bought – whatever you have in your fridge)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Course salad
Cuisine British
Keyword rice salad
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
4 as a lunch or several people as part of a buffet table
Ingredients
  • 175 g brown rice
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 1 yellow pepper diced
  • ½ red onion finely chopped
  • ½ cucumber de-seeded, diced
  • 150 g cherry tomatoes halved
  • 40 g flaked almonds toasted
  • 2 large handfuls parsley finely chopped
  • 1 medium handful dill finely chopped
pesto vinaigrette:
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • juice of ½ small lemon
  • 4 tablespoons pesto (any kind, homemade or shop bought – whatever you have in your fridge)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
bowl of rice salad ingredients with lemon squeezer, vinaigrette and tomatoes in background
Instructions
  1. Cook the brown rice according to the packet instructions then leave to cool.
  2. Meanwhile mix all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl and add to the rice once cool.
  3. To make the vinaigrette, whisk the Dijon and lemon along with some salt and pepper in a small bowl until thickened.
  4. Whisk in the pesto then drizzle in the olive oil whisking all the time until the dressing has come together.
  5. Pour over the rice salad, mixing in well.
  6. Store the salad in the fridge until needed.

If you like this recipe you may like…

Coronation Chicken Wild Rice Salad

Coronation Chicken Salad

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Coronation Chicken Wild Rice Salad

This Coronation Chicken Wild Rice Salad is one of the recipes I make the most often. It comes with me to every picnic or gathering where I am required to bring food. I never grow tired of it as it’s light, fresh and full of flavour thanks to the curried roasted chicken thighs which are simply out of this world. The wild and basmati rice make it a complete meal where little else is required.

Coronation Chicken Salad

This post is a week late which pretty much sums up the kind of life I’m living right now. If I appear to be on time for anything then it’s probably because my watch has stopped meaning something else for me to add to the never ending to do list.

curried chicken thighs in a roasting dish

a bowl of salad dressing with a spoon in iit

I can’t complain though because it’s been a fantastic week, full of cake, balloons, party hats and bubbles. Yes, the Queen celebrated her 90th birthday at the weekend but in the Hartley household there was another more meaningful birthday this week as Cole turned a full 1 year old. With that I break down into floods of nostalgic tears for little newborn tootsies, tightly curled fingers, sleepy little yawns and without question the endless days where I held onto him contentedly on the sofa, surrounded by cushions, digestive biscuits and binge watching my Gilmore Girls DVDs.

Coronation Chicken Salad

So I haven’t watched a DVD since 2015 and these days Cole pretty much refuses to be held at all, shooting off my lap or out of the pram or out of the car seat as he practices using his wobbly little legs, inching closer and closer to walking. My life mostly involves careening about the house rescuing him from whatever danger he seems to be courting next. I also had to buy him his first pair of shoes as well this week to protect his feet which were getting filthy from London terrain. So it’s milestone after milestone and I’m struggling to keep up.

Coronation Chicken Salad

We celebrated his birthday by taking a hoard of North London mummies and babies to London Zoo along with a giant picnic and we had such an excellent day, even if he did nap through most of the animals. It was a truly British summer day and I made this Coronation Chicken Wild Rice Salad for us all to share. Actually it was a lazy choice of salad as it’s the one I bring to every large picnic gathering and I’ve been meaning to blog about for ages. It’s easy to make, so delicious and good with or without the rice to bulk it out. Even though it’s a mildly spiced coronation chicken, meaning that it’s suitable for adults and babies alike, it is certainly not lacking in flavour due to the freshly ground spices and tangy with lime and yoghurt to make up the dressing along with the usual mayo.

So happy birthday to Her Royal Highness but more importantly to My Royal Highness. It’s been an amazing, non-stop, emotional rollercoaster of a year but one I really don’t want to disembark from.

Print Recipe
Coronation Chicken Wild Rice Salad
This Coronation Chicken Wild Rice Salad is a light fresh and modern take on a classic recipe.
Coronation Chicken Salad
Course salad
Cuisine British
Keyword chicken, salad
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
8-10 people
Ingredients
Curry Paste:
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • seeds from 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Salad
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 300 ml natural yoghurt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 225 g wholegrain basmati and wild rice mix cooked according to packet instructions, then cooled
  • 8 dried apricots finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli seeds removed and finely sliced
  • two large handfuls of mixed baby leaves
  • large handful of coriander leaves
  • 50 g flaked almonds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds black or white
Course salad
Cuisine British
Keyword chicken, salad
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
8-10 people
Ingredients
Curry Paste:
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • seeds from 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Salad
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 300 ml natural yoghurt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 225 g wholegrain basmati and wild rice mix cooked according to packet instructions, then cooled
  • 8 dried apricots finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli seeds removed and finely sliced
  • two large handfuls of mixed baby leaves
  • large handful of coriander leaves
  • 50 g flaked almonds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds black or white
Coronation Chicken Salad
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C
  2. First make the curry paste by grinding together the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and cardamom seeds until fine using a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar. Tip into a large bowl and add the turmeric, ginger, garlic powder, salt and mix well. Remove 1 tablespoon of the spices and set aside in a small bowl for later.
  3. Stir the coconut oil into the rest of the spice mix until a thick paste has been formed.
  4. Rub the paste all over the chicken thighs until they are evenly covered. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and scatter over the sesame seeds, place back into the oven, turn the heat up to 220°C and roast for a further 15 minutes. Remove and leave the chicken until cool enough to handle then shred the meat and crisp skin from the bones. Place in a bowl whilst you prepare the dressing.
  5. To make the dressing whisk together the mayonnaise, yoghurt, lime juice and almond butter with the reserved tablespoon of the spice mix.
  6. Mix the chicken, the cooked rice, the chopped apricots, spring onions and chilli in with dressing until completely covered.
  7. Toss the baby leaves and coriander leaves together in a large bowl then add in the coronation chicken, mixing lightly so the leaves don’t get too heavy with the dressing.
  8. To serve, scatter over the flaked almonds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.

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