Pickled Cauliflower, Carrots and Red Peppers

2014 1109 Canned pickled cauliflower, carrots and red peppersI couldn’t resist that big blowsy cauliflower at the farmer’s market. It made no sense to cart it home without a plan, since I was about to go on the road for the week. But there it was on the kitchen counter in all its glory, along with thick-walled red peppers from my garden and the season’s first carrots from our CSA. Giardiniera? That would be perfect if I didn’t already have a refrigerator full of all sorts of vegetables being pickled. So I decided to make a version of that pickled combination and can a few jars for the pantry.

2014 1109 Chopped cauliflower, carrots and red peppers

The recipe comes from the magazine Fine Cooking. While it uses a standard combination of vinegar, water and salt as a base, what I found interesting was the slightly Indian combination of toasted coriander, brown mustard and cumin seeds, ground turmeric and chunks of fresh ginger and hot red pepper. After curing for about a week, the pickled medley was tangy, slightly spicy and very flavorful. It will be great as an impromptu antipasto over the holidays or a sparky counterpart to rich meats or scalloped potatoes.

2014 1109 Pickling liquidPickled Cauliflower, Carrots and Red Peppers adapted from Fine Cooking

4 c cauliflower florets (under 1”)

2 c sliced carrots, cut on the diagonal a little under ½-inch thick (about 4 medium carrots)

1 c red pepper squares, ¾-inch pieces

1 tsp coriander seed

1 tsp brown mustard seed

½ tsp cumin seed

1 tsp black peppercorns

½ tsp ground turmeric

2 tbsp Kosher salt or half that amount of pickling salt

¼ tsp red pepper flakes (or 4 small fresh piquin peppers, one for each jar)

4 slices peeled fresh ginger, a little under ¼-inch thick (one for each jar)

½ small yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced vertically

4 medium cloves garlic

2 c cider vinegar

1 c water

If you are canning the pickles, prepare 4 one-pint jars for water bath canning. Have all ingredients prepared and ready to go. Place equal amounts of cauliflower, carrots and red peppers in the hot jars.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, lightly toast the coriander, mustard and cumin seeds until aromatic, 1-2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Pour over the vegetables, making sure to distribute the ingredients evenly among the jars. Leave ½-inch of head space. Insert a chopstick into each jar to release any air bubbles and wipe the rims clean. Top with warm, sterilized two-part canning lids.

Process in a water bath for 10 minutes after the water returns to a boil. Turn off heat, remove canner lid and let sit for 5 minutes before removing to the counter to sit undisturbed until cool. Set aside for at least a week to cure before eating, whether you’ve canned them or not (store in refrigerator if not canned).

Make 4 pints.

Categories: Carrots, Cauliflower, Peppers, Pickle, PreservingTags: ,

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