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Spicy Pickled Cauliflower And Carrots (Fridge Pickles)

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Give my spicy pickled cauliflower and carrots a try for a quick snack or salad topper. These pickled cauliflower florets and carrots provide a savory crunch with a nice kick.

Spicy pickled cauliflower and carrots

Pickled veggies are also so versatile in how you serve them up. The beauty of this recipe is it uses simple ingredients, and you control the ingredients used. No processed ingredients as if you were to buy a jar at the grocery store. 

You will love that the brine is packed full of tangy and savory flavor with a hint of spice. This pickled cauliflower recipe is one of my favorites when I have extra produce on hand. It’s also a great way to preserve your vegetables a bit longer and enjoy the flavors. 

Recipe highlights

  • Great way to preserve your vegetables in the vinegar mixture and extend the shelf life.
  • This is a homemade giardiniera recipe that is full of flavor and healthy vegetables. 
  • This recipe is versatile. You can use different vegetables of your choosing. 
  • Great for packing in your lunch boxes, meal prepping, serving as a side dish, or even a snack. 
  • All you need is a handful of ingredients to transform these crunchy vegetables in a big flavorful way. 

Ingredients needed

Fresh veggies for pickling
  • Vegetables – I used fresh vegetables that were ripe for the picking. Cauliflower, carrots, jalapeno, and garlic. This blend isn’t only a beautiful color mix, but also great on flavor.
  • Vinegar – White distilled vinegar is what I like to reach for. But, you are more than welcome to reach for apple cider vinegar for a slight twist on the flavor. Keep in mind the flavor will be very different and the acidity of white vinegar is higher.
  • Sugar – A touch of sugar is needed for balancing the flavor.
  • Salt – Sea salt and kosher salt are both great options for this recipe. It will help add flavor, and of course aid in the pickling. 
  • Spices – Whole mustard seed and caraway seeds are used. To elevate the flavor, try using whole peppercorns, coriander seeds, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, or other pickling spices.
Spicy pickled cauliflower and carrots

How to make spicy pickled cauliflower and carrots  

Start by washing and prepping the head of cauliflower and carrots. Slice the carrots into long sticks, and break the cauliflower into small florets. 

Next, you will remove the stem from the jalapeno pepper, and slice it into thin rounds. Prep the garlic by peeling and crushing with a knife.

In clean/sterilized jars (quart size is good), layer in the cauliflower, carrots, jalapeno, and garlic. You want to pack it fairly tight. Then, add in the mustard and caraway seeds.

In a medium saucepan, heat the brine ingredients (vinegar, sugar, salt and water). Mix until it dissolves all the sugar and you reach a simmer. 

Carefully pour the hot brine over the vegetables in each of the jars. Leave space at the top of the jar! (About a half inch is good).

Seal the jars tightly and refrigerate for at least 5 days. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 months.

Storage and serving

You will want to store your spicy vegetables in sealed glass jars in the refrigerator. The mixture will last up to 2 months when stored in the fridge. 

Then, you can drain off the brine and eat the mixture how you would like. The carrots and bite-sized florets will have the tangy texture from the brine and still offer a nice crunch. Serve on a charcuterie platter, as a side, top salads, or any other way you want to eat it. 

Spicy pickled cauliflower and carrots

Recipe Tips and FAQs

  • Make sure to cut all larger pieces of cauliflower down into small pieces. You don’t want large cauliflower pieces, as they need to fit in the jar, but you want them small enough to brine properly.
  • Make sure to stir the brine mixture to ensure all the sugar and salt get dissolved fully. 
  • Use a funnel when pouring the pickling liquid into the jar so that it doesn’t spill. 

Are these spicy pickled cauliflower and carrots healthy?

You will find that pickled vegetables will still contain some of the nutrients from their raw form. Just know that the brine is a higher sodium and the added sugar will take away from the “healthy” of the recipe. While it isn’t a bad snack, eating raw vegetables on their own is a healthier option. 

Can I adjust the spiciness level?

If you want a more mild mixture, remove all the seeds from the jalapeno before you add them to the jar. For a medium mix, you will want to leave just a few jalapeno seeds in the jar. For a spicy mix leave all the pepper seeds, and even consider adding additional peppers in in for added spice factor. 

Can I use this recipe for water bath canning?

You can also do more conventional canning (water bath) for room temperature storage. If doing so, reduce vinegar to 1 cup and increase water to ¾ cup. Always follow the USDA canning guide for reference.

Can I reuse the pickling liquid?

If you would like to use the batch of liquid over again, you can reuse it once or twice. Simply remove all the leftover bits of vegetables, and place the liquid back on the stove. Fill up your jar with new vegetables and once the mixture is heated pour over the vegetable mixture. Then let it sit for 5 days before eating. It will be less intense in flavor, but it can be used a second time. 

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as our family does. It is a great way to use your produce in a fun and tasty way. Vibrant colors with a bold flavor waiting for you to devour it. 

Craving more recipes with vegetables?

Spicy Pickled Cauliflower And Carrots

Spicy pickled cauliflower and carrots
This recipe for spicy pickled cauliflower and carrots makes a delicious snack, salad topper, or veggie board addition.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Serving Size 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 1 lb cauliflower florets about 1 medium head
  • 2-3 medium carrots
  • 1 large jalapeno
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 ¼ cups white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp whole mustard seed
  • ½ tsp caraway seed
  • ½ cup water

Instructions

  • Break cauliflower into very small florets.
    Cauliflower
  • Peel and slice the carrot into long sticks about 1/2 inch thick.
    Carrots
  • Cut off the stem of the jalapeno. Slice into thin rounds. Peel the garlic and crush partially with the side of a knife.
  • In a sterilized quart jar, layer the cauliflower florets, carrots, and sliced jalapenos. Pack in fairly tightly.
  • Once the jar is full, add in the mustard and caraway seed.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, salt, and water, stirring until everything is dissolved. Bring to a simmer.
  • Pour hot mixture over the vegetables until completely covered. Leave ½” of space at the top of the jar. Place the lid on and seal tightly.
    Pickled cauliflower
  • Place in the fridge for at least 5 days.

Notes

You can also use 2 pint jars instead of one. Simply divide the ingredients evenly between them before pouring the vinegar solution over them.
 

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