I always thought za’atar was just a dark green, tapenade with a funny name that my office mate would spread on her bread and top with fresh tomatoes. Turns out it doesn’t contain any olives, and isn’t a tapenade at all. Za’atar is actually a Mediterranean mixture of dried herb(s), combined with sesame seeds, dried sumac, other spices, and salt. This makes much more sense seeing that my office mate was dating an Iranian at the time. According to Wiki, in some regions of the world, za’atar is thought to have “health advancing properties, making the mind alert and the body strong”, which tells me, “eat this super pickle and you will become smarter, stronger, and more amazing!”
The idea for this za’atar pickled cauliflower recipe came from me asking the beau if he had any pickle suggestions, and from Jolene’s Jar. Head over to Jolene’s Pennsylvania based website/store to check out her goods, and to get your hands on some other tasty pickle varieties.
- 1 medium sized head of cauliflower (leaves and center removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
- 6 heads of garlic (sliced)
- 1 tsp black mustard seed
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 3 cups water
- 8 tsp Za'atar seasoning
- 2 Tbsp sea/pickling salt
- In a medium-sized, non-reactive pot, comine garlic, salt, mustard seed, water, and vinegar. Bring to a boil.
- Add 2 tsp of Za'atar to each pint jar. Pack cauliflower into each jar, leaving ~ 1/2 inch headspace.
- Pour vinegar brine into jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles.
- Wipe rims, apply lids and rings. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
- Remove from canner, let cool on a folded towel for 12-24 hours.
- Let set for at least 3 weeks before consumption. Enjoy!