We have achieved cauliflower. Several heads of cauliflower. Victor called me out to the garden this morning and said he hoped I had something planned for dinner tonight using it.

A single head of cauliflower can last a bit of time with us – easily two meals. Nonna will only eat it if it’s been cooked to mush, so more often than not it’s just the two of us digging in, and looking at six gorgeous heads, I knew I had to get creative. I thought of just doing a simple pickled cauliflower and then remembered the book I just got – Preserving Italy by Domenica Marchetti.  I went to the index, saw Cauliflower, and started reading…

The Pickled Cauliflower with Lemon sounded promising and I could do it in a hot water bath and not have to pressure can. Plus, I had all the ingredients without having to leave the house – a very important consideration around here.

You’ll have to buy Domenica’s book to get her recipe – this is my interpretation…


Pickled Cauliflower with Lemon

  • 3 heads cauliflower
  • 1 qt white vinegar
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • lemon strips from 2 lemons
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp canning salt (or kosher salt)
  • 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
  • olive oil
  • 6 mason jars with lids

Wash cauliflower and trim to small florettes – they need to be able to snugly fit in your mason jars.


Bring everything except the cauliflower and olive oil to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Blanche the cauliflower florettes in the boiling brine about 1 minute. Take out the cauliflower and keep the brine on a low boil.


Pack the cauliflower into the sterilized jars. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into each jar. Pour the hot brine into the jars leaving 1/2″ headroom. Use a chopstick to stir and release any air bubbles.

Screw on the lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.


The recipe states the cauliflower should cure for about a week. I will probably be opening a jar tomorrow, though, as patience is not one of my better qualities.

I really liked using the vinegar/wine combination instead of the more traditional vinegar and water. It was definitely not as pungent when cooking the brine so I’m hoping for a more mellow pickling experience.