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Turmeric Pickled Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs kosher salt
  • 2 pounds cauliflower broken into bite sized pieces
  • 1 quart vinegar – anything with 5% acidity; I use half distilled and half apple cider both are 5% acidity
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 medium onions halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ tsp turmeric powder

Instructions

  1. Bring 5 pint jars and their metal bands to a boil in a large and tall stock pot with a rack or towel at the bottom to allow water to circulate around the entire jar. Boil the jars for 10 minutes, then remove them to a towel using tongs but keep the water and make sure it stays hot – this is where you will process your jars. In the meantime, place a small saucepan filled with about a cup or two of water over low heat and add the lids to the water to simmer. Always use new lids because they lose their sealing ability after processing. The warm water will help soften the rubber that allows the jars to seal.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat and add the salt. Add the cauliflower and cook for 2-3 minutes, then drain. Blanching the cauliflower is necessary so that the interior is warm when the jars go into the canning bath and the internal temperature will get high enough to both seal the jar and kill any nasty bacteria.
  3. In a medium pot, combine vinegar, sugar, onions, and turmeric over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat. Again, having hot or warm liquid in the jars will help the temperature come up quickly during canning and keep the final product safe. Remove the onions and toss them with the cauliflower.
  4. When the jars are dry, but still hot, gently pack the cauliflower and onions into the jars. You will probably have enough for 4 pint jars but I like to prepare at least one extra so that if I have more I don’t have to scramble to sterilize an extra jar. Cover the cauliflower with vinegar, leaving ½ to ¾ inch of headspace at the top of the jar. If you don’t leave enough head space, the jars won’t seal. Once filled, wipe the rims of the jars with a wet paper towel to make sure the lids will adhere and then place the warmed lids on the jars and screw on the metal band, tightening them with only your fingertips. You want them secure but not tight since air will escape during the processing.
  5. Place the jars in the pot you used to sterilize them, making them are upright, and add enough water to cover them by a few inches. Bring the water back to a boil, then boil the jars for 10 minutes. Make sure the water is boiling before you start the timer to ensure that the jars get a long enough bath in hot enough water. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and let the jars cool slightly in the bath for about 5 minutes. Then remove them using tongs or a jar lifter and place them on a wooden or cloth surface. Other surfaces may be too cold and could cause the hot jars to break on contact. I cover my jars with a cloth at this point, both to slow the cooling process and help ensure a good seal and to prevent me from accidentally touching super-hot glass and metal, which is not an uncommon problem for me. As the jars cool, you may hear popping noises as the lids seal themselves.
  6. Once the jars have cooled completely (about 6 hours later), check the seals by removing the rings and lifting the jars by their lids to see if the lid stays – if it does they have sealed. Store them without their rings so that you will know if a seal breaks and see the bottom of the lids to check for any bacteria or cracks in the rubber. Let the jars sit for a few weeks and mellow before eating them. Jars sealed during processing will last for up to a year.