Monday, March 25, 2013

Pickled Cauliflower

Today is a marinara making day. We're down to less than a quart left of marinara sauce, so I needed to get the next batch going. (My crock pot marinara recipe is here.) All my vegetables are from my bountiful basket, including the tomatoes I canned about a month ago. Smells delicious.

I'm pretty new to canning. This is not something my mom did when I was growing up. I know my grandma canned, but I pretty much have learned it all on my own the past couple years. You can see the fruits of my labor in the picture above. The beans were done by my mother-in-law. We haven't had much luck growing beans in our garden the past couple years. Pickling is a fun part of canning, too. My kids are good little vegetable eaters, but cauliflower isn't their favorite. I've tried the mock mashed potatoes, cauliflower hot "wings", and cauliflower au gratin but nothing really hit the spot. A local steak house has pickled cauliflower on their relish trays, so I thought I'd give that a shot. Holy cow!! My kids LOVE it. Seriously. They can eat an entire quart in one sitting if I let them. It's always a favorite around here (pretty much anything pickled will get eaten). I frequently get asked for my recipe, so here it goes:

1 head cauliflower
mustard seeds
black peppercorns
2 quart or 4 pint jars, cleaned and sterilized

I'm going to give you the measurements for pint jars. For quart jars, double all the measurements except the peppercorns.

Wash a fresh cauliflower. Remove any brown spots (cut them off). Cut into florets. Set aside.

Slice an onion. Cut into rings. Place 6 rings of various sizes into the bottom of your jars. Put 2 garlic cloves (sliced) in the jar as well. Add your dill. I used 3 sprigs per pint jar.

Fill your jar with cauliflower as full as you can make it. Then add 1/2 t mustard seeds, 1/4 t black peppercorns, 1/8 t ground coriander, 2 t pickling salt, 1 t sugar and 1/4 cup vinegar. Then fill the rest of the jar with water leaving about 1/2" head room.

Wipe the edge of the jar and place the lids on the jars. Tighten the lids on the jars to finger-tight. Place the jars in your water bath (still cold) and turn on med-low heat. If you don 't have a canner, use a large stock pot and place a tea towel or washcloth in the bottom before putting your jars in. Process the jars until it starts to boil. Let boil 5-10 minutes. I usually boil 10 since we're at a high altitude. Turn the heat off, cover the pot with a towel and let it sit until completely cooled. Remove from canner/pot and check the lids for sealing. If the lid pops in the center, it did not seal and you will need to keep it in the refrigerator. Allow the pickling to sit at least 1 week before eating.

I encourage you to give this recipe a try if you like anything pickled. The cauliflower stays crisp but has the delicious tang of pickling. You know it's good if my kids want to eat it for breakfast. Happy pickling!!

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