I often think of cauliflower as a winter vegetable, but since it’s available year-round, cold crunchy pickles feel more appropriate for warmer weather. Here’s a twist: Curried cauliflower pickles.
Truth be told, when I bought this cauliflower head, I really wanted to try an Indian dish from the New York Times cooking blog. However, I was short a couple of ingredients and didn’t want the cauliflower to go to waste. Pickles to the rescue!
As I wrote in my pickled fennel post, being half Finnish and half Polish, pickling is in my DNA. And, you can pickle just about any vegetable — and many fruits, too. Beneath the recipe for pickled cauliflower is a collection of pickle recipes and several variations to try. In previous pickle recipes, I’ve waxed on brining processes and the difference between quick pickling vs. canning and jarring processes. Check them out if you want to learn more.
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Pickle Me This: Curried Cauliflower Florets
- 1 medium head cauliflower, any type (white, yellow, green or purple)
- 2 and 1/4 cups white wine vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon Kosher or sea salt (not iodized table salt)
- 1 tablespoon regular white sugar
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 2 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
- 2 teaspoons Garam Masala or any curry spice blend that you prefer
- See below for numerous variations to try
- Break or slice the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Pack the florets into clean jars with tight fitting lids.
- If you are making any of the variations, below, this is the time to add any herbs along with the cauliflower
- In a small pot, bring vinegar, water, salt, sugar, peppercorns and Garam Masala to a boil (This is your brining liquid).
- If you are making any of the variations using spices (see variation ideas, below), add them to the brining liquid now
- Carefully pour the hot brining liquid into the jar, ensuring the liquid completely covers the cauliflower florets. If you do not have enough liquid, add equal parts water and vinegar to top off the jar (no need to boil). Place the lid on tightly, and let then jars cool to room temperature
- Refrigerate and wait 24-48 hours before enjoying. These quick pickles will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator
Variations: Note the timing on when to add spices vs. herbs in the directions, above.
- Spicy: omit the Garam Masala, but add 2 extra garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground Cayenne or Pepperoncini pepper
- Thai: omit the Garam Masala, but add 4 lime wedges, 4 springs cilantro, 4 Thai chili peppers left whole
- French 1: omit the Garam Masala, but add 2 springs tarragon and peels of 1/2 lemon (using a vegetable peeler, only using the yellow skin, leaving the white pith behind)
- French 2: omit the Garam Masala, but add 1 teaspoon dried Herbes de Provence
- Moroccan: omit the Garam Masala, but add 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Sweet: omit the Garam Masala, but add 2 tablespoons additional sugar and 1/2 teaspoon sumac