How to Make Pickled Cauliflower

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Pickling boosts the flavor and crispy texture of cauliflower with a vinegar-based brine customized to your liking, whether that's hot and spicy, sweet and sour or heavy on fresh herbs. You can pickle cauliflower by traditional canning or by simply boiling a pickling solution, pouring it over the prepared cauliflower and storing the mixture in the refrigerator. Canned pickled cauliflower lasts longer and doesn't require refrigeration, but the process takes more time and may be a better choice if you plan to pickle large amounts of vegetables.

Prepare the Cauliflower

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Wash the cauliflower under running water. Remove and discard any discolored portions.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Dry the cauliflower with paper towels or dish cloths. Use a sharp knife to cut off the stem and any outer leaves. Discard.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Cut the cauliflower into florets, each measuring approximately 1 to 2 inches long.

Canned Pickled Cauliflower

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Stir in 4 teaspoons of canning salt for every gallon of water.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Put the cauliflower florets into the boiling water. Allow to cook for 3 minutes.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Drain the cauliflower. Place the florets into a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes. Drain again.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Divide the cauliflower evenly between sterilized canning jars. Leave 1/2 inch headspace.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Prepare the pickling brine by combining vinegar, sugar, seasonings and thinly sliced vegetables such as onions and red peppers, if desired, into a saucepan. Use one part sugar to every two parts of vinegar and about one and one-half parts additional vegetables, if using. Experiment with your choice of herbs and spices, or use traditional seasonings such as celery seed, mustard seed, red pepper flakes and turmeric.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Heat the brine to boiling. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Use a slotted spoon to remove vegetables from the brine, if you've used them. Divide them between the jars of cauliflower.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Pour an equal amount of hot brine into each jar. Leave 1/2 inch headspace. Make certain that all of the cauliflower is fully covered with liquid.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Put the lids and screw bands of each jar in place. Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Remove the hot jars with tongs. Cool briefly and remove or loosen the screw bands of each. Leave to cool overnight.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Push down on the center of each jar's lid to ensure that it is sealed. Watch for jars with lids that move up or down or that make a popping sound. These jars aren't properly sealed. Remove the contents and re-can or keep them refrigerated and use promptly.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Store properly canned pickled cauliflower in a cool, dry location. Wait at least 24 hours before serving.

Refrigerator Pickled Cauliflower

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Blanch, steam or lightly roast the cauliflower florets, if desired.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Put the florets into canning jars or heat-proof containers that have tightly fitting lids.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Combine vinegar, water, sugar, kosher salt and seasonings like fresh or dried herbs, spices or garlic. Use one part sugar to two parts each of vinegar and water. Every pound of cauliflower requires approximately 1 cup each vinegar and water, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of salt.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Boil the pickling solution. Divide it equally between the jars or containers of cauliflower.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Put the lids in place. Cool and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.