Friday, September 13, 2013

Pickled Cauliflower in Honey & Beet Brine

These unusual pickles not only have a great crunchy pickle taste, they also look lovely in the pantry! I will, however, note that out of the jar, the cauliflower florets are more pastel-pink than the bright purple-pink they appear in the jar.

This recipe, with some modifications, came from Andrea Chesman's book Pickled Pantry (Storey Publishing, 2012), which I borrowed from the library and have really been enjoying.  I particularly like the way that she describes the flavors of the pickles and the helpful recipes at the end for using and cooking with pickles. The recipes also include small batches (1-quart) as well as recipes for fermenting.   When we crack open the first jar, I'll report back on the taste.

Looking for more pickle recipes to try?
Check out previous posts for:
honey pickled carrots
cherry tomatoes in honey brine
pickled garlic scapes

Pickled Cauliflower in Honey & Beet Brine

This recipe makes four pints (or two quarts)

2 small-medium beets well scrubbed, chopped (you don't have to be too meticulous here because the beets will eventually get strained out)
2 2/3 cups distilled white vinegar
2 2/3 cups water
3 tablespoons honey
4 teaspoons pickling salt 
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
One large (approximately 6-8 inches)--around 6 cups--of cauliflower florets

In a saucepan, heat the beets, vinegar, water, honey and salt just to a boil and then simmer for five minutes.  While the vinegar heats, pack the cauliflower into sterilized wide mouth canning jars. (To sterilize, I place in a 225 degree oven for 20 minutes--consult any canning resource for guides about this.)  To each jar, add 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds and 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds.  Strain the beets out of the vinegar brine and pour the hot brine over the cauliflower, leaving 1/2 inch head space.  Remove any air bubbles and then seal with lids.  Place in a boiling water bath (water should cover the sealed jars by 2 inches).  Bring the water back to a gentle boil and begin timing--the jars should be in the bath for 15 minutes.  Remove, cool completely, check that the jars have sealed and wait 6 weeks for the flavors to develop.  (Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated.)

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