Pickled cauliflower is great to have on hand. You can make it with any color of cauliflower, although I can’t resist purple cauliflower because the compounds it contains react with the hot vinegar solution and turn the florets into a pretty neon. The perfect punctuation for every plate. Have a glass ready and serve these alongside tacos and spring rolls, in bentos, and as an accent in salads.
Here (below) you can see the pickled cauliflower as part of a bento lunch situation. The cauliflower is nestled between a chilli-coated hard-boiled egg, spicy sesame slaw, purple rice, a curry leaf and pepita tadka, and a bunch of kale chips. It delivers a good dose of tang and crunch amid less structured components.
Pickled Cauliflower: The Process
It’s possible to have a jar full of pickled cauliflower ready in ten minutes. The steps are straight forward and quick. The first thing you need to do is mix your florets with other ingredients and spices that you may be using. I like to use onions, mustard seeds and dried chilies – which is reflected in the recipe below. You can do the same or play around. Sometimes I add carrot coins, sometimes I substitute shallots for the onions, etc.
Pack the jar
The next step is to transfer the mixture to a quart-sized mason jar. Fill almost all the way to the top as you can see pictured below.
Make a hot vinegar solution
The final step in this process is to heat a mixture of vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small saucepan. It simmers until the sugar and salt grains have dissolved. The hot vinegar is poured over the cauliflower until it is completely covered. At this point you can see the color shift when using purple cauliflower.
A great make-ahead component
I love making pickled cauliflower this way because you can enjoy a crispy hot bite just minutes after whipping up the hot vinegar. And then it gets even better the days after. I tend to try and use quick pickles within a week or so, but they’re usually enjoyed before then.
If you’re interested in more of the pictured feel-good lunch ideas, check out the Spicy Sesame Slaw here, and the Tofu Salad is actually just my favorite wonton filling from this wonton soup recipe. Enjoy!
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