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Published August 10, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This tasty, pickled cauliflower recipe is not only easy-to-prepare, but it is the perfect accompaniment to any meal.
Pickled cauliflower is simply bite-size pieces of uncooked cauliflower that are covered in a hot vinegar solution, along with other seasonings, to help extend the shelf life and enhance the taste. There are many different ingredients you can add to the brine, depending on your preferred flavor profile. These would be great to use in a homemade giardiniera or even as a garnish for tacos, salad, soups, or sandwiches.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Cauliflower – Any fresh head of cauliflower cut into small bite-size pieces. You’ll only use about a ½ of a head.
- Water – You will need cold water to help cut down the vinegar flavor.
- Vinegar – I used white distilled vinegar in my recipe.
- Salt – I always use sea salt in my recipes, and this is used to help season the carrots and for preservation.
- Sugar – This will help add flavor as well as preservation.
- Peppercorns – Some whole peppercorns will add a bunch of spice to the cauliflower.
- Mustard Seeds – These add awesome flavor and texture to the recipe.
- Onions – You will only need a few slices of yellow onions of this.
- Garlic – A few cloves will give a huge flavor boost to the pickled cauliflower.
- Bell Peppers – I liked to use a few red or yellow bell pepper slices in this.
How to Make Pickled Cauliflower
Place the bite-size pieces of cauliflower filling up a third of the jar along with a few garlic cloves.
Add some of the sliced bell peppers and onions, and then add 1/3 more of the cauliflower. Repeat with peppers, onions, and cauliflower until full.
Next, make the brine and bring it to a boil over high heat. Ensure the salt and sugar are completely dissolved before removing them from the burner.
Pour the brine over the cauliflower in the jar, making sure to submerge them.
Cool to room temperature before adding on the seal and lid and placing in the refrigerator.
There are many other ingredients you can add to this existing recipe to enhance the flavor, or you can simply create your own brine. Here are some things that would go well in a brine.
- Cider Vinegar
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Coriander Seeds
- Cumin Seeds
- Celery Seeds
- Red Pepper Flakes
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make these up to 1 week ahead of time.
How to Store: Place the pickled cauliflower sealed in the jar with the lid in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 weeks. These will not freeze.
Chef Notes + Tips
- Use a butter knife to help move the ingredients around once the brine is in the jar and the cauliflower.
- For best flavor results, wait at least 24 hours before eating the pickled cauliflower. The longer you wait, the more intense in flavor they will get.
- Make sure your jars are completely clean and sterilized before using them.
- Depending on the size of your cauliflower, you may need more or less to fill the jars.
More Vegetable Recipes
Pickled Cauliflower Recipe
- 4 garlic cloves
- 4 cups or roughly a half head of trimmed fresh cauliflower
- ¼ cup peeled and thinly sliced yellow onion
- ¼ cup seeded and thinly sliced red bell pepper
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 ½ cups distilled vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- Place the garlic cloves and bite-size pieces of cauliflower filling up a third of the jar.
- Add some of the sliced bell peppers and onions, and then add a 1/3 more of the cauliflower. Repeat with peppers, onions, and cauliflower until full.
- Next, add the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, and peppercorns to a large pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Make sure the salt and sugar are completely dissolved before removing it from the burner.
- Pour the brine over the cauliflower in the jar making sure to submerge them.
- Cool to room temperature before adding on the seal and lid and placing in the refrigerator. Wait 24 hours before eating them for the best flavor. See notes on shelf life.