I wanted to pickle some cauliflower. When researching recipes for pickling cauliflower I found most recipes included mustard or mustard seeds (rai), fennel seeds, red chili powder, turmeric (haldi), and asafetida (hing). Of course, there is always the popular Piccalilli also known as 'Spiced Mustard Pickle', as well as other variations of a mixed vegetable pickle such as Chow-Chow, which always includes cauliflower as well as carrots, onions, runner beans and the like, another mixed vegetable relish that includes mustard in the brine, none of which you will find in this recipe. This Red Cauliflower Pickle recipe I discovered after finding 'Farewell The Winterline: Memories of a Boyhood in India. A Memoir by Stanley E. Brush'.
|Six quarts of freshly bottled Red Cauliflower Pickle|
According to the website, "Stan Brush's love for the peoples and cultures of India and Pakistan infuse his memoir...And it is appreciation of those cultures that inspires the continual development of this web site." Best of all they offer a free Indian Recipes Cookbook.
Paul and I had recently purchased a big, old Victorian in Connecticut's Northwest Corner, so when the harvest was coming in, my pots, pans, and canning supplies were lost in transition. This recipe was certainly on my to do list but because of circumstance set simmering on the back burner.
Finally the time was right. The produce department had beautiful heads of cauliflower lined up bright and white, so crisp, so pristine: and canning equipment had been unpacked. I bought two bulbous heads and several jars of Greenwood's Sweet and Tangy Sliced Pickled Beets with Onions so I could give this unique recipe a test run. I also purchased a few organic golden beets to add to the mix for a little more color.
Here is the original recipe as it appeared in the Indian Recipes Cookbook.
Kosher Salt as needed
While your cauliflower is resting prepare your beets. Roasting beets, as with parsnips and other root vegetables, intensifies their flavor bringing out their sweet earthiness. It also makes them easier to peel. Start with beets that are firm and feel heavy for their size. If the beets came with their greens still attached, cut off the greens, wash them, and reserve them for another use.
Roast beets until tender. The amount of time this takes will vary depending on the size and number of the beets, and how fresh they are. For smaller beets, start checking them for tenderness at about 25 minutes. Larger, older beets can take up to an hour.
Rinse your salted cauliflower florets several times in cool water and let drain. Begin bottling by layering sliced beets and drained cauliflower florets into your sterilized bottles and/or jars. I bottled up one 2 quart container (pictured below) that went right into the fridge after it cooled, and then I moved to 4 pint bottles that I processed in a canning water bath for 10 minutes, for long term storage in my pie safe now canning cupboard.
|Two quart jar being stuffed with cauliflower and beets.|