Cauliflower-Bell Pepper Chowchow

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Chowchow is chopped vegetables pickled in mustard sauce. The word comes from the Mandarin word ‘chao,’ to stir-fry. You can make it out of anything from onions and summer squash to sweet corn and green tomatoes. This cauliflower-bell pepper version is the best I’ve ever eaten. Spoon it on baked beans or any kind of dried beans. It’s also great with curries and chicken. SAM

4 teaspoons salt, divided
Water for boiling
1 small cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets (4 cups)
3 large green bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped (3 cups)
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped (1 cup)
1 large onion, diced (1 cup)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups white vinegar, divided
4 1-pint canning jars with lids

The first day: Fill a large kettle 3/4 full of water, add 1 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil. Blanch the cauliflower, peppers, and onion by dipping in the boiling water for 10 seconds. Drain the vegetables, place them in a cloth bag, and hang them outside or over a sink or tub to drip overnight.

The second day: In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 3 teaspoons salt, flour, mustard, turmeric, celery seed, sugar, and 1 cup vinegar. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the remaining 2 cups vinegar and cook until thick and smooth. Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water and spoon in the drained vegetables, leaving 1 inch of headroom. Cover with the mustard sauce, screw on the lids, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Makes 4 pints.

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