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How to Pickle Broccoli & Cauliflower

Updated April 17, 2017

If you and your family are tired of eating regular steamed broccoli and cauliflower, there are plenty of alternative cooking methods that you can try to spice up these common veggies. Pickling your broccoli and cauliflower infuses it with a pleasantly pungent flavour and preserves it for up to a year. Pickling also is a great way to make sure your family can enjoy broccoli and cauliflower all year round.

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  1. Choose fresh heads of broccoli and cauliflower. You will be able to tell freshness by checking for tight florets that cling to the stalk. Do not choose broccoli or cauliflower that has limp stems or brown spots.

  2. Wash the vegetables, and chop the broccoli and cauliflower into small florets. You can chop and pickle the stems or discard them, depending on your preference. Peel the onion, slice it in half, then cut each half into thin half moons and set aside.

  3. Add the water, vinegar and kosher salt to a saucepan and cook until just boiling, then turn off the heat.

  4. Sanitise your mason jars by submerging them in a large pot of boiling water for at least 30 seconds. Remove them from the boiling water using a pair of tongs and set them aside to dry.

  5. Measure out the pickling spices, dried thyme and red pepper flakes into a small bowl, stirring to combine. Divide the spice blend evenly into the jars. Divide the onion slices evenly among the jars, and place them on top of the spice blend. Tightly pack the broccoli and cauliflower florets into the jars.

  6. Pour the pickling liquid into the jars, filling them to the very top. Clean the rims of the jars with a clean towel. Cap the jars tightly and fully submerge the jars in a pot of simmering water for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the pot with tongs and set out on the counter to cool before storing in a pantry or cupboard.

  7. Allow the pickles to brine for two to three weeks before consuming. Store your pickles in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Once you open a jar, store in the refrigerator.

  8. Tip

    To make refrigerator pickles, follow steps 1-5. Fill the jars with brine, loosely seal the jars with their lids and store in the refrigerator. Let the pickles brine for two days before opening, and eat them within a month.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Knife
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 8 cups water
  • 6 cups white vinegar
  • 6 tbsp kosher salt
  • Saucepan
  • 5 1-qt. mason jars with lids
  • Large pot
  • 10 tsp pickling spices
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp dried thyme

About the Author

Daisy Buchanan has worked as a staff writer for "The Umbrella," an arts newspaper in Portland, Ore., and as editor-in-chief for "Living Mosaic," an academic journal. Buchanan holds a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies from Lewis and Clark College.

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