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. 🙂
I bring you this blog post from the passenger seat driving to the South Berwick farmer’s market to get more parsnips. I had originally planned on making this weekend’s recipe pickled parsnips, but apparently when you let organic veggies sit for a week in the crisper they spoil. So… back to the market we go (turns out that I didn’t find parsnips after all).
So what’s the deal with colorful cauliflower anyway? Of the many different varieties of cauliflower, the color in purple and orange cauliflower has different sources. The purple color comes from the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which is also found in red cabbage and red wine. The orange comes from a genetic mutation that gives the veggie more beta carotene. Orange cauliflower also holds 25% more vitamin A than the regular white cauliflower you find in the grocery store. Albeit, the anthocyanin in the purple bunch turned the final pickle product a brilliant reddish hue, the color is undeniably pretty. Enjoy this colorful dill and red pepper cauliflower pickle as part of your favorite pickle assortment, serve it at a pickle party (my plan), or add it to any salad in need of a colorful kick.
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.
In late 2006 I spent a semester abroad in Normandy, France specifically the city of Le Havre. Never have visited France before, my naive notion was that all of France either looked like picturesque Paris or some variety of a vineyard flowing countryside. Le Havre was neither or these. Rather, this port city had a more industrial, concrete, transportation hub feel… which, made it a great launching pad for further exploration of northern France. As my first time living abroad, not speaking much of the language, and initially not knowing anyone aside from my loud German neighbors, the first month was pretty rough. The student housing kitchen was quite baron with nothing but a range, a mini fridge, and a sink. At the time, I was still quite reliant on microwaves and take out meals, not to mention that I hadn’t yet acquired the taste for wine.
When I first started pickling a year ago, I had great aspirations to pickle crazy/alternative things, crazy things I wouldn’t typically find in a supermarket aisle. Feeling adventurous, I pickled cauliflower… Upon my first look at #pickling on Instagram, I quickly learned that my first non-cucumber pickle was just the tip of the iceberg, and really more of a walk around the pickling block. We all have to start somewhere right? Devastated by this year’s Thanksgiving meals, my jar cabinet was in dire need of a pickle re-up. I’ve modify this recipe a few times over the past year, but after a couple not-so-satisfactory results (cumin cauliflower: FAIL), I’m sticking with my original take on pickled cauliflower. These quick, spicy, and curry’delish pickled cauliflower & peppers are a great snack or meal accompaniment.
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