I’m Obsessed with Pickled Cauliflower

One massive head of cauliflower makes 8 half-pint jars of pickles.

Pickled Cauliflower

Like Betty, I’m a huge fan of pickled things. I can’t really beat a salty/tangy/chilled accompaniment to a meal, particularly in the summertime.

I’ve made some regular old pickled cauliflower before, and while it was fine, it didn’t really inspire me. And then I stumbled across the pickled cauliflower recipe from Perbacco. I’ve been to Perbacco, so I knew that this would be good stuff. What I didn’t realize was that we would plow through an entire half pint jar per day without blinking an eye.

Just the thought of this recipe makes me giddy. The cauliflower is sweet, salty, crunchy and delicious.

These are refrigerator pickles, which means that they’re not shelf stable. They will last in your fridge for several weeks.

Tightly packed florets, plus some peppercorns.

A few things to note: 1) you need to brine the cauliflower for 48 hours before pickling; 2) make the pickling liquid at the same time that you start the brine, because you want that to be chilled when you pour it over the florets; 3) it takes a week from the first brining to the day they’re ready for consumption, so plan ahead.



  • 2 small heads or one large head of cauliflower, rinsed and cut into small, bite-sized florettes
  • 1.5 ounces salt (roughly 3 Tbsp sea salt or 5 Tbsp kosher salt)
  • 3 quarts cold water

For Pickling

  • 1 quart white wine vinegar (not white vinegar)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 whole black peppercorns



Dissolve the salt in the cold water. Cover the florets and allow them to rest in the fridge for 48 hours. At the same time, begin the pickling liquid.

For Pickling: Part 1

Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaf and peppercorns in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cool completely and refrigerate until the pickling process begins in two days.

For Pickling: Part 2

After 48 hours have passed, drain and rinse the cauliflower. Tightly pack the florets into 1/2 pint mason jars. Add enough of the cold pickling liquid to completely submerge the cauliflower. Seal the jars, store in the refrigerator and try to be patient for five more days.

On the fifth day, you’ll eat. Enjoy!

You could do this on a weeknight, but cutting the florets can be time consuming.


The Tiny Kitchen Assistant isn’t a pickle person, so he rejected them, but as a pickle-loving child I can see that I would have adored these.

As for The Husband… well, together we plow through a 1/2 pint jar each night at dinner. “I like them,” he says, “but they should know that the juice smells funky.” (I hadn’t noticed.)

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