Cauliflower pickle is a spicy accompaniment dish that is made by adding salt and a preserving liquid to the cauliflower floretes in order to preserve the vegetable. It is prepared in advance and consumed after months of being preserved. The cauliflower is often used as an ingredient in mixed vegetable pickles instead of being the sole vegetable in a pickle. Carrots, horseradish, and red bell peppers are usually added to the pickle to enhance the taste.
The nutritious vegetable grows in cool conditions and can wilt in heat which makes it essential to be eaten as pickles when out of season. Almost all countries of Eastern Europe and Asia pickle the cauliflower after a particularly good harvest. The countries around the Mediterranean were also known to possess their own recipes for pickling the cauliflower. The pickle is highly spiced in Greece, Italy, and India.
The pickle is served with meat dishes across the countries of Europe. The South Asians particularly those residing in India and Pakistan prefer to eat them with the staple bread known as Rotis.
Cauliflower Pickle Recipe: Ingredients and Preparation Overview
Pickling spices and vinegar are the main ingredients considered to be absolutely essential for preserving the cauliflowers along with salt. Additional spices like chili flakes, mustard seeds, or thyme may be added to make it tastier. Onion rings are almost always used in European pickled vegetable dishes to add the required amount of pungency.
The liquid is usually made by boiling together an equal amount of vinegar and water seasoned heavily with salt. The spices along with the onion rings are placed inside the pickling jars before it is packed with the cauliflower florets and stem pieces. The pickling liquid is poured over all the ingredients and the jars are stored for two to three weeks which is the minimum time required for preparing the cauliflower pickle.
Cauliflower Pickle: Serving Suggestions
- Anti Pasto Platter- The Italian appetizer dish of anti pasto includes the pickled cauliflower along with tomatoes, olives, carrots and onions.
- Cauliflower Piccalilli- a modern version of the pickled cauliflower prepared by adding castor sugar and corn flour. It is usually served with the cold cuts during Christmas.
- Potato Salad and Pickle- The pickle along with a dollop of mayonnaise is served as an accompaniment to the potato salad.