Syrian Pickled Cauliflower | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Syrian Pickled Cauliflower

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 Syrian Pickled Cauliflower

Photograph by Leigh Olson

Pickled cauliflower might be new to you, but it is a common breakfast food in Israel, along with cheese, hummus, labneh (yogurt cheese), pita bread, and crunchy salads of cucumbers and tomatoes. Like pickled turnips, pickled cauliflower is a staple of Middle Eastern meze spreads. It is a particular specialty of Syrian Jews, who are famous for their culinary prowess. This recipe is straightforward and simple, to highlight the flavor of the cauliflower. The beet is present mostly to add color.

Servings & Times
Yield:
  • Makes 3 pints (1.4 l)
Ingredients

1 large head of cauliflower (about

2½ lb, or 1.2 kg) broken into florets

1 medium beet, peeled and cut into 1-in (2.5-cm) cubes

2 cups (475 ml) distilled white vinegar

2 tablespoons (36 g) pickling salt

3 cloves of garlic, peeled, halved, and core removed

1½ teaspoons black peppercorns, divided

Steps

Prepare a boiling water bath and heat 3 pint-sized (473 ml) jars. Combine the vinegar, 2 cups (475 ml) of water, and salt in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the salt. Reduce the heat, add the cauliflower and beets, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Add 2 garlic halves and ½ teaspoon peppercorns to each jar. Using a slotted spoon, pack the vegetables tightly into the jars, making sure to distribute the beets evenly. (There may be beets left over.) Ladle the hot brine over the vegetables leaving ½ inch (1 cm) of headspace. Bubble the jars well and remeasure the headspace, adding more brine if necessary. Wipe the rims with a damp cloth. Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings just until you feel resistance. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Allow to cool in the water for 5 minutes before removing. Allow the cauliflower to cure for 1 week before opening. Store unopened jars in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Note: I recommend using regular-mouth pint-sized (473 ml) jars for this project because the shoulders help keep the cauliflower submerged.


From The Joys of Jewish Preserving by Emily Paster, © 2017 Quarto Publishing Group. Used by permission from the publisher, Harvard Common Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group. QuartoKnows.com