Gluten Free Pickled Cauliflower & Carrots Recipe
I never thought of myself as the type of person who makes pickles. I’m not exactly sure what kind of person that is, but I probably thought it was someone with a green thumb and abundant garden, who lives 8,000 miles from the nearest store and has a huge farmhouse kitchen with a pantry the size of a walk in closet.
It seems to me most pickle making would probably take place in the summer when no one is thinking about holiday gift giving (OK… there are people who are thinking about holiday gift giving in July but I don’t associate with those sort of uber-organized folks).
I have a black thumb; after weeks of hard work and hundreds of dollars, my garden harvested 2 tiny eggplants, 5 watermelons, 2 tomatoes that never ripened and a handful or so of the hottest peppers on earth. There are at least 5 major grocery stores within 5 minutes of my house, my kitchen is the size of a broom closet and
procrastination spontaneity is more my thing than planning and executing ahead of time.
However, make pickles I did! I just love to have piles of homemade goodies hanging around waiting to be given out to people who stop by during the holidays or to take for hostess gifts. Every year I make cookies, marshmallows and simple candies. This year I decided to add to my repertoire and do something different.
What I love about these pickles is that they are fast and easy! Plus they make pretty inexpensive gifts; cauliflower and carrots are not gourmet, fancy-schmancy veggies that come with a high price tag, white vinegar is downright cheap and I bought about a thousand dried peppers from the local fruit and veggie stand for a couple of dollars. I have a little bit of a jar fetish, so those were on hand but if you are not a crazy jar collecting person, they can be purchased very inexpensively from the hardware store or places like Ikea. Even if it had been necessary for me to purchase jars I still would have made 6 adorable jars of pickled cauliflower and carrots for under $15.00!
I didn’t “can” these pickles for years of storage – they need to be kept in the fridge but will last up to a month. If you are interested in a longer term method of preserving, you could certainly go to all that trouble – but why?
These pickles are crisp and tangy with a bit of sweet and the tiniest hint of heat. They make a great accompaniment to all the rich meats and other dishes we serve this time of year.
Never thought of yourself as a pickle maker? Maybe you are!
- 6 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons kosher or fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons peppercorns
- 12 bay leaves
- 12 dried chilies
- 1 large red onion - cut in half and thickly sliced
- 1 head of garlic - separated into cloves and peeled (about 12 cloves)
- 2 large cauliflower - broken into florets
- 4 cups sliced carrots
Scrupulously wash and dry 6 one pint jars and lids.
Bring the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns and bay leaves to a boil in a large pan. Boil, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes.
Add the chilies, onion, garlic, cauliflower and carrots, bring back to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes.
Carefully spoon the veggies into the prepared jars – trying to get 2 bay leaves and 2 chilies in each jar, top with the hot vinegar mixture, secure the lids and let cool. Once cooled, refrigerate for up to 1 month.
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