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Pickled Cauliflower

October 31, 2010

This recipe comes from Eugenia Bone’s canning book Well-PreservedI picked this book up at Chapters a couple of weeks ago after trying one of her recipes recommended by Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen blog.  It was so tasty that I thought I search out the original source to see if it was worth purchasing.  I am a sucker for a good canning book…and, there are lots out there.  There were several interesting canning recipes in this book and Eugenia also provides you with recipes for meals that would go great with your jar of preserves.  I like that!


  • pickling salt (Add a 1/4 cup pickling salt to every 16 cups of water)
  • 2 1/2 pounds cauliflower, broken into florets (about 12 cups)
  • 4 cups white wine vinegar, distilled white vinegar, or a combination (with 5% acidity)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or more to taste OR use hot banana peppers or jalapeno; sliced into rounds
  1. Prepare for water-bath canning.  Sterilize jars in the oven at 250F for 30 minutes.
  2. Wash cauliflower and break into individual florets.
  3. In a large stainless steel saucepan, bring 16 cups of water and 1/4 cup of pickling salt to a boil over high heat.    Add the cauliflower florets and boil them for about 3 minutes.  Drain.
  4. In a medium stainless steel saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, onions, and hot red pepper flakes (or washed and sliced hot peppers). Stir ingredients until the sugar dissolves.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil gently for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat.
  5. Working quickly, gently pack the cauliflower and the onions into hot sterilized jars.  The cooked cauliflower florets should be packed careful so they retain their shape.
  6. Ladle the hot vinegar solution into each jar, making sure the hot red pepper flakes are distributed well throughout.   
  7. Leave 1/2″ headspace, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot liquid.  Wipe rims with a damp paper towel, center lids on jars, and screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
  8. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a rolling boil and process for 10 minutes.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool, label and store.

I used three beautiful crisp white heads of Ontario cauliflower, purchased at our local veggie shop, Muskoka Veggez.  It totalled 7 1/2 which is three batches.  I required all of the pickling liquid the recipe called for but my yield was short by 6 pints or 6 x 500mL…which is a lot.  I am really not sure why I was short because I weighed all of the cauliflower but I am happy with the end result and look forward to sampling these little florets.  I may even do another batch or two.

Put up Total:

  • 9 x 500mL wide mouth mason jars
  • 3 x 500mL regular mouth mason jars
3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2011 4:42 pm

    I make something similar to this, but only a jar at a time (and without canning, just to keep in the fridge). Though I add jalapenos and don’t add any sugar. Works great with carrots, too!

    After reading through your wonderful blog, I’m feeling like I might get the courage to actually can a batch.

    • January 3, 2011 4:52 pm

      We think it’s great that you make it and refrigerate it…lots of people do. We are just super hard-core and try to put up as much as we can when we’ve got it fresh, garden grown from friends, or locally purchased. Jalapenos would be an excellent touch and so tasty. We love pickled carrots and beans too! Let us know if you CAN a batch!

  2. October 18, 2012 8:47 pm

    I’ve been canning for years , one trick is to gently shake the jar up and down to get more product in it…the light came on one day when reading a label saying product may have “settled” during shipment…so now I shake all my veggies…beans,carrots, cabbage, corn, beets,etc. have you ever canned corn on the cob? It’s just like frsh on a cold winters day !

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