Fermented Cauliflower Pickles

Fermented Cauliflower Pickles-Putting Up with ErinFermented Cauliflower Pickles-Putting Up with Erin

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know that fermented veggies are not my forte. To be honest, the whole process terrifies me. Bacteria, breaking jars, botulism, did I mention bacteria!? I ferment almost as often as I use my pressure caner, which is never? Whenever people ask if I make fermented pickles, I tend to bullshit my way out of the question. Alas, it’s time to overcome my fear. What better to experiment with than none other than my 3rd favorite thing to pickle: cauliflower. Last Wednesday, I snagged a huge head of organic cauliflower from the lovely Lydie at Maple Spring Gardens. I find it pretty amazing that for any head over 2lbs they charge a flat rate. I sat on the cauliflower head for a day until I came across a recipe that didn’t completely intimidate me: Tammy’s fermented cauliflower recipe at One tomato, two tomato.

I decided to modify Tammy’s recipe a little bit by substituting dried peppers for hot habanero peppers, and mustard and coriander seed for several teaspoons of my trusty Happy Girl Kitchen Co. pickling spice. I have absolutely no clue how these are going to turn out. They have to sit for 8 weeks before I can taste them. So fingers crossed. I’ll be back in July with an update and review. 🙂

Fermented Cauliflower Pickles-Putting Up with Erin Fermented Cauliflower Pickles-Putting Up with Erin

Fermented Cauliflower Pickles

Yield: 3 quarts


  • 2 lbs fresh cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 10 cups water
  • 9 garlic cloves
  • 2 fresh habanero peppers (halved)
  • 6 tsp pickling spice
  • 18 pieces of cabbage leaves cut into 2x2 inch pieces


  1. Combine salt and water, stirring to dissolve. Bring to a boil. Leave to simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets and wash well. Wash cabbage and peppers.
  3. Into the bottom of each jar place 3 cabbage pieces, 2 tsp of pickling spice, 1/2 of a pepper, and 3 cloves garlic. Divide cauliflower between jars.
  4. Pour boiling brine over each jar full of cauliflower. Fill until there’s a 1/4? head space. Cauliflower should be fully submerged.
  5. Cap cauliflower with remaining cabbage pieces (serves as a weight).
  6. Cover with jar lids and tighten them as tight as you possibly can.
  7. Once the jars are cool, leave them at room temperature to ferment for one week.
  8. After a week, place the jars in a cooler environment,and allow to ferment for 7 weeks minimum before eating.


Original recipe modified from One tomato, two tomato.

Jars will store at cool room temps for up to 6 months, plus another 6 months in the fridge, before the vegetables get to soft. When you are ready to eat the cauliflower pickles, refrigerate the jars for 24 hours beforehand. The pickles will last another 6 months in the fridge.

2 responses to Fermented Cauliflower Pickles

  1. Since you have mentioned several times that you enjoy using new/different ingredients, I found 4 recipes in my collection that I am challenging you to turn into canning recipes. Two use the same main ingredient, but one is quite simple, while the other is more complex. I think they lend themselves well to canning, but as you are more expert than I by far…
    Sorry, I didn’t know how else to send them to you.


    Verjuice is a highly acidic juice made by pressing unripe grapes, crab-apples or other sour fruit. Sometimes lemon or sorrel juice, herbs or spices are added to change the flavour. This is especially good with grilled fish. YIELD Makes about 1 1/3 Cups

    3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    5 tablespoons olive oil
    1 bunch green onions, chopped
    1/2 cup verjus
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    1/2 teaspoon hot Mexican chili powder

    Stir cumin in medium skillet over medium heat until aromatic, about 1 minute.
    Transfer to medium bowl.
    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium heat.
    Add green onions and sauté 2 minutes.
    Add to cumin.
    Add remaining 4 tablespoons oil, verjus, cilantro, lime juice and chili powder to bowl and whisk to blend.
    Season with salt and pepper.

    2) Gjusta’s Green Harissa
    PUBLISHED: SEPTEMBER 2015 in Bon Appetit Recipe by Gjusta, Venice, CA
    Schmear this on sandwiches, use it to marinate shrimp or chicken, or spoon a dollop onto eggs.

    ½ onion, halved
    1 tomatillo, husk removed, rinsed
    1 jalapeño, halved, seeds removed from 1 half
    4 garlic cloves, peeled
    1 tablespoon plus ½ cup olive oil
    2 cups cilantro leaves with tender stems (from about ½ bunch)
    2 cups parsley leaves with tender stems (from about ½ bunch)
    2 cups trimmed arugula
    2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon or 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
    Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

    Preheat oven to 350°.
    Toss onion, tomatillo, jalapeño, garlic, and 1 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing once, until vegetables are soft, 12–15 minutes. Let cool.
    Purée vegetables in a food processor along with cilantro, parsley, arugula, vinegar, preserved lemon, and remaining ½ cup oil until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
    Do Ahead: Harissa can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

    3) Yuzu Kosho
    by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen JANUARY 2012 in Bon Appetit

    1 cup finely grated lime zest (from about 16 limes)
    2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
    2 tablespoons finely grated grapefruit zest (preferably white)
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice (preferably white)
    2 tablespoons bottled yuzu juice
    1 green Thai chile, seeded, minced
    2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
    Pinch of sugar

    Combine zests and salt on a cutting board.
    Chop, dragging the knife blade at an angle across mixture, until a coarse paste forms.
    [Try mixing with mortar/pestle]
    Transfer to a small bowl.
    Mix in remaining ingredients.
    Transfer to a small jar, cover, and chill for 2 days.
    DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Keep chilled.

    by Marc at ‘No Recipes’
    Hot sauce is my favorite condiment. Whether you’re talking Tapatio, Sriracha, or Blair’s Ultra Death, I love them all. You could put that stuff on crusty boot-leather and it would make it taste good. I mean what else can you think of that can be squirted onto airline food to make it palatable?

    In the world of fruit though, my love for hot sauce is paralleled by citrus. That’s why yuzu kosho (yuzu chili paste) is perhaps my favorite hot sauce of them all. For those of you that have never had it, yuzu is a small Japanese citrus that tastes somewhere between Meyer lemon, grapefruit and lime. In Japan the zest is combined with green chili peppers to make a potent paste that not only adds heat, it adds a heavenly fragrance that goes with just about anything.

    While yuzu kosho in paste form is concentrated and delicious, I like to add some citrus juice so you can use it as a sauce. Yuzu isn’t the easiest citrus to find, but you can get it in fall at Japanese supermarkets. If you can’t find yuzu, this is also delicious made with other citrus zests such as Meyer lemon, lime, or even orange.

    WARNING: These are some seriously potent chilis. After handling them, my hands literally felt like they were on fire for almost 24 hours. I’d recommend using gloves. If you happen to make the same mistake I did, scrubbing your hands with vegetable oil, then washing with dish soap helps a little.

    2 Green togarashi pepper (or 3 thai bird chilis)
    6 Green yuzu
    1 tsp Salt

    Remove the seeds and white membrane from chili peppers. I recommend wearing gloves when doing this.
    Mince the chili’s as fine as you can make them.
    Use a microplane to zest the yuzu.
    Place the chili, yuzu zest and salt in a mortar and pound with a pestle until it turns into a smooth paste.
    Add the juice from the yuzu and mix well until the sauce is the consistency you want it.
    Because of the salt content it will keep for a month in the fridge, or longer if you freeze it.

  2. I’ve never actually tried pickled cauliflower. I love pickles but this looks super interesting. I definitely want to try making these at home even if just to be able to try cauliflower after its been pickled! Thank you for sharing your recipe, the next time I go to ferment or pickle anything this is definitely going to be on my horizon.

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