Za'atar Pickled Cauliflower-Putting Up with ErinZa'atar Pickled Cauliflower-Putting Up with Erin

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.

Za’atar Pickled Cauliflower

Yield: 4 pints


  • 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


  1. In a medium-sized, non-reactive pot, comine garlic, salt, mustard seed, water, and vinegar. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add 2 tsp of Za'atar to each pint jar. Pack cauliflower into each jar, leaving ~ 1/2 inch headspace.
  3. Pour vinegar brine into jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles.
  4. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from canner, let cool on a folded towel for 12-24 hours.
  6. Let set for at least 3 weeks before consumption. Enjoy!

6 responses to Za’atar Pickled Cauliflower

  1. What is Za’atar? Is it an herb like thyme, a seasoning like sugar, a crisper like alum, or a preserver like citric acid? Can something else be substituted for it? Do you buy yours at the grocers or the health food store? Thank you for your help. I love cauliflower and could buy this in bulk to preserve.

  2. Hi Erin! I’ve been enjoying reading through your website. I’m particularly excited about all the alcohol mustard recipes. I just had a question about the garlic in this recipe. Do you really mean six full heads? Or six cloves? Cheers!

  3. I found my Za’atar at The Spice House in Milwaukee. If you don’t have a Middle Eastern market or well-stocked grocery, you can get it online 🙂

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