posted in Appetizers

Pickled Cauliflower

Someone once said that if you’re eating a selection of foods that span the color of the rainbow, then you’re probably eating healthy.  That person was wickedly wise.  I’m a salad freak, and I like to make my salads as colorful as possible with added tomatoes, avocado, red kidney beans, garbanzo beans, berries, feta cheese, cucumber, bell peppers… you name it, and I’ll put it in my salad.  I also happen to love my vegetables.  There’s rarely a vegetable I won’t try, and I enthusiastically enjoy most everything.  Pickled vegetables are terrific too, my favorite being Bread and Butter Pickles and Green Beans.  Today I’ve Pickled Cauliflower with an added bonus of red bell peppers and carrots.

Besides the fact that it’s way colorful and pretty, this stuff also makes a terrific low-cal snack or Happy Hour treat (especially for those of us who like to indulge in things like  Cookie Dough Cupcakes and Candied Bacon).

The recipe comes from the folks at Fine Cooking magazine.  It’s not your typical pickle recipe.  This one involves some funky but wonderful spices like cumin, coriander and mustard seeds.  Their flavors come alive when they are toasted briefly in a heated saucepan.

Here are some more goodies that get added to the brine, along with garlic, ginger, onion and cider vinegar.

Your veggies are stuffed into a jar (or a big glass bowl).  I suppose you could always just pickle cauliflower… or only carrots… but they’re so pretty to mix them all together.

The hot, hot brine is poured over the top.  Let those veggies soak in the brine until it is totally cooled off.  Then close the lid and refrigerate it.  The veggies get to chill out and pickle themselves for two days before they’re ready for tasting.

And then… they are pickled!  These babies will be delicious to munch on for two weeks in your refrigerator.  If you’re interested in “canning” them for a longer shelf life, see the original recipe on the Fine Cooking website for instructions on how to do so.  I’m pretty sure you won’t need them to last longer than two weeks though.  They’re delicious and crispy, and they have that wonderful pickled flavor along with the interesting array of added spices.

Yield: About 5 cups pickled vegetables

Prep Time: 20 min + marinating and cooling time

Cook Time: 7 min

Pickled Cauliflower


1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cups cider vinegar
5 medium garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
Three 1/4-inch thick slices peeled fresh ginger
One half small yellow sweet onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
One small head cauliflower, cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch florets
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into lengthwise 4-inch pieces
1 small red bell pepper, cored & seeded & cut into strips


1. Add the coriander, mustard and cumin seeds to a medium saucepan. Toast the seeds over medium heat, swirling the pan around until the seeds are fragrant and slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, garlic, ginger, onion, sugar, salt, peppercorns, turmeric, red pepper flakes and 1 cup water to the toasted spices. Bring to a boil.

2. Pack the cauliflower, carrots and bell pepper in a 2-quart jar or bowl. Pour the hot liquid over the vegetables. Let cool to room temperature, and then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 days before tasting. The veggies will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.


*If you'd prefer to can these veggies, please see the original recipe on the Fine Cooking site for instructions.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 4 ounces
Calories per serving: 50
Fat per serving: 0g
Saturated Fat per serving: 0g
Protein per serving: 2g
Carbohydrates per serving: 12g
Sodium per serving: 220mg

Source: (Adapted barely from Fine Cooking)

27 Responses to “Pickled Cauliflower”

  1. postedApr 16, 2012 6:40 AM

    I love, love, love pickled cauliflower. I love anything pickled, actually. Especially Brussels sprouts…have you ever tried those?

  2. postedApr 16, 2012 8:09 AM

    I love pickling things and pickled anything. Vinegar is something I adore. Your veggies are absolutely gorgeous!

  3. postedApr 16, 2012 2:22 PM

    Love the pickled veggies! I would enjoy them daily over my salads 🙂

  4. postedApr 16, 2012 5:29 PM

    What gorgeous colors. I’ve never pickled anything but I’m excited to try!

  5. postedApr 16, 2012 9:03 PM

    Beautiful! I love pickled veggies, just never thought about making my own! These look pretty too! 🙂

  6. postedApr 17, 2012 6:41 AM

    Great recipe! I have to make this, I loved pickled vegetables!

  7. postedApr 17, 2012 9:13 AM

    I didn’t know pickles could be so pretty!

  8. postedApr 17, 2012 9:24 AM

    I have yet to pickle anything, but the ease of this recipe really makes me want to try it. I would happily snack on these pretty veggies all day long.

  9. postedApr 17, 2012 3:05 PM

    How do you think this would taste with the last green tomatoes from the autumn garden?

  10. postedApr 29, 2012 2:44 PM

    Can this be water bath canned?

    • April 30th, 2012 @ 5:50 AM

      I included a link for traditional canning instructions in the *tips on the recipe.

  11. postedJun 5, 2012 11:49 AM

    Made this last night, can’t wait to taste it. Here a photo @

    • June 5th, 2012 @ 2:46 PM

      Looks like it turned out perfect- enjoy!

  12. postedJul 10, 2012 11:10 AM
    Angie Moncada

    Love these pickled veggies in whole wheat pita with salami or turkey breast, feta or sliced asiago cheese, spinach and wasabi mustard dipping sauce! Yummo!

  13. postedDec 8, 2012 9:54 AM
    mrs grafton

    Wow!! never new this could be so easy, thank you.

  14. postedJun 23, 2013 6:09 PM
    Mary Frost

    How would I make these using an old fashioned crock where you put a plate on the top of them and let them set so long? It sounds fun! Pls advise!

    • June 24th, 2013 @ 2:22 PM

      I’ve not done that before, so I’m not sure!

  15. postedNov 20, 2013 12:56 PM

    Packed these as tightly as I could into a 2-quart jar, but when I added the liquid it only covered about 2/3 of the veg. Do I need to make another batch of the brine, or can I just stir them occasionally?

    • November 20th, 2013 @ 4:30 PM

      It will probably be okay if you turn the jar once in a while.

  16. postedNov 23, 2013 10:09 AM

    Thanks for the recipe! Everybody in the family loves this one. We tried 3 different recipes this year and this one is hands down everyone’s favorite!

  17. postedAug 24, 2015 1:08 PM

    This looks soo delish! Does the brine have to completely cover the veggies? I think I cut too many.

    • September 3rd, 2015 @ 8:39 PM

      How did they turn out?

  18. postedAug 28, 2016 1:30 PM
    Davontae Friday

    Yum…… years later and your post has saved my life…

  19. postedJan 3, 2017 10:15 AM

    These look delish!  Could they be made successfully without the sugar to go with a low carb diet? 

    • January 7th, 2017 @ 6:50 AM

      I don’t think you’ll get a “pickled” flavor without the sugar…

  20. postedMar 2, 2017 9:36 AM

    I have made these several times they turned out great!

  21. postedApr 12, 2017 7:55 AM
    Deborah Schneider

    this was the first recipe that worked for keeping the veggies crisp and favor was great., thank you

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