Curry pickled cauliflower makes a terrifically flavorful snack and adds a beautifully tangy contrast to bowls and salads. The curry powder adds a nice little twist and a yellow color to this simple recipe made with a few pantry staples.
This curry pickled cauliflower recipe is well-balanced thanks to the sweetness of the apple cider vinegar, and slightly spicy from the garlic. It's a great condiment to have in your fridge at all times.
What is quick pickling?
Quick pickles are vegetables that are submerged in a salted water-vinegar solution. Unlike canned vegetables, the tangy flavor comes from the vinegar and not from fermentation.
Since they are not canned they need to be kept in the refrigerator at all times. Hence why they are sometimes called refrigerator pickles.
You can quick-pickle a large variety of vegetables, including yellow onions, red onions, and cucumber. For more creative recipes, check out these pickled carrots with fresh ginger and this orange pickled fennel.
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Cauliflower head: I like using white cauliflower as it turns yellow due to the curry powder.
- Garlic makes the pickles slightly spicy. You can leave it out or replace it with sweet onions if you prefer.
- Curry powder adds warmth and spice. It's usually made from turmeric, cumin, ginger, black pepper, and sometimes a little cinnamon. If needed, replace it with garam masala.
- Turmeric powder intensifies the yellow color but is totally optional.
- Apple cider vinegar is my vinegar of choice. However, you could also use half ACV and half white vinegar.
- Salt is needed for flavor and preservation. You can use sea salt and Kosher salt interchangeably.
- Sugar balances out the tanginess. You don't need a whole lot in this recipe as apple cider vinegar is already naturally sweet.
More pickling spices you can add include cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. All of them go really well with curry powder. Feel free to mix and match with what you have at home.
STEP 1: Add the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the salt and sugar have completely dissolved.
STEP 2: Wash the cauliflower and cut it in half. Remove the stem and the leaves and rip the florets apart into bite-size pieces.
STEP 3: Add cauliflower florets to a glass jar. For larger quantities, I like to use 750ml Weck jars, which are bigger than regular pint jars.
STEP 4: Pour the hot brine over the cauliflower. Make sure to leave a little room at the top of the jar. Add in the garlic clove.
STEP 5: Add in the curry powder and turmeric and give it a good stir. This is also the time to add other spices such as coriander seeds.
STEP 6: Let the cauliflower cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving. It tastes best after it has steeped for a day.
How to eat pickled cauliflower
- Curry pickled cauliflower can be eaten straight from the jar and may quickly become your new favorite snack. It's an incredible way to add more veggies to your diet.
- They make a perfect addition to a relish tray, a snack plate, or (vegan) cheese plates. Homemade pickles are quick, inexpensive and never fail to impress.
- They are great alongside finger food on a cocktail night (e.g., with bloody marys).
- To all the salad lovers: pickled cauliflower is sensational in salads, nourish bowls, and rice bowls. I love combining oven-roasted and pickled cauliflower.
- It also tastes great in a variety of vegan wraps.
Frequently asked questions
Choose a firm cauliflower that is tightly closed (avoid soft, squishy ones). Make sure it has no brown spots or blemishes.
Quick pickled cauliflower will last for at least 2 weeks and up to 4 weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure the cauliflower florets are constantly submerged in pickling liquid.
Cauliflower leaves are definitely edible and should not be discarded. You can sauté them in a heavy skillet with a little olive oil, salt, and some of your favorite spices (just like green chard). It makes a great side dish.
You can add the stem to soups or roast it in the oven.
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Curry Pickled Cauliflower
- 750 ml Weck jars (25 ounces)
For the vinegar brine
- 1 cup (240 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Wash the cauliflower and break it up into florets. Peel the garlic clove.
- Add the apple cider vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a small saucepan. Heat until salt and sugar have completely dissolved.
- Add the cauliflower florets and the garlic clove to a 750 ml (25 ounces) glass jar. Pour the vinegar brine on top and add in the curry powder and turmeric. Make sure the florets are completely submerged and close with a lid.
- Let cool until it reaches room temperature. Place it in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 20 minutes before serving.
- More pickling spices you can add include cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves.
- Quick pickled cauliflower will last for at least 2 weeks and up to 4 weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure the cauliflower florets are constantly submerged in pickling liquid.
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