Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lemony Pickled Cauliflower

Okay, so this jar looks like something Hannibal Lechter had in his garage, which only proves yet again that I'm a terrible photographer, but in reality it contains amazing, cold, crunchy deliciousness in the form of lemony pickled cauliflower.  I know, I know, cauliflower is probably second only to Brussels sprouts in  the hated vegetable pantheon but really that's only because it has been abused so much over the years.  I always felt it needed to be blanketed in as much cheese sauce as possible to make it palatable so I'm not sure what made me try this recipe but boy, did it change my opinion.  

I got the original recipe from Serious Eats and ended up tweaking it a bit to make it even more lemony and tart.  Once the cauliflower has rested in the pickling brine for a bit, pull some out, drizzle it with a little olive oil and toss in some parsley for an amazing winter salad.  Caroline and I served it at her house with ham and the ravening hoardes fell on it like it was their last meal.  The best part is that since its a refrigerator pickle, you don't have to have any special equipment to partake of its goodness.  

This recipe makes two quarts

2 lemons, washed and slices
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
8-10 black peppercorns
1 good sized head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 cups water
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • Prepare two clean quart jars by adding two slices of lemon, one slice garlic clove and 4-5 peppercorns to the bottom of each jar.
  • Bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil in a sauce pan large enough to hold all the cauliflower.
  • Once the water/vinegar mixture is boiling, stir to dissolve the salt then add the cauliflower.
  • Stir the cauliflower until the water/vinegar mixture returns to the boil then remove from the heat.
  • Using a slotted spoon, fill each jar halfway with cauliflower.  Add another couple of lemon slices to the jar then fill with the rest of the cauliflower.  
  • Pour the hot water/vinegar brine over the cauliflower then top each jar with another lemon slice.
  • Cap the jars, allow to cool a little then refrigerate for at least 12 hours before eating.
  • Admire your handiwork (the jars look really pretty in person - much better than my pathetic photo above) then eat and enjoy.

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