Pomegranate molasses, a concentrate of pomegranate juice, gives these pickled florets an elusive tart and fruity flavor reminiscent of tamarind.
It's helpful to have a jar lifter or tongs with rubberized/silicone ends for transferring the jars into and out of the hot-water baths.
Make Ahead: For best flavor, store the jars in a cool, dry place for 6 weeks before using. The pickled cauliflower is good for up to 1 year. Once opened, refrigerate for up to 2 months.
Servings: 1 quart or 2 pints
- 1 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (available at Middle Eastern markets and in the international aisle of some grocery stores)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons pickling or fine sea salt
- 1 or 2 green cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons coriander seed
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1/2 white or yellow onion, cut into thin slices
Place a rack or towel inside a deep pot. Fill with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the jar(s) upright, making sure there is at least an inch of water over them, and boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, leaving the jars in the water until you are ready to use them.
Soak new jar lid(s) and ring(s) in a small saucepan of hot, but not boiling, water, leaving them in the water until you are ready to use them.
Combine the white vinegar, water, pomegranate molasses, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
While the vinegar mixture heats, drain the jar(s), lid(s) and ring(s). Place the cardamom and coriander inside the jar(s). Mix the cauliflower and onion, then pack into the jar(s). Pour in the hot vinegar mixture, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe the rim(s) to clear away any food particles or brine. Use a clean chopstick to stir/remove any air bubbles between the food the sides of the glass. Seal with the lid(s) and ring(s), making sure the latter is gently tightened.
You can use the same pot used to sterilize the jar(s) (with rack or towel). Bring the water to less than a full, rolling boil over medium-high heat (adjusting as needed). Use a jar lifter or tongs to transfer the jar(s) to the water bath, making sure there is enough water to cover the jars by 2 inches. Process for 15 minutes. Transfer to the counter to cool undisturbed for 12 hours. The lid(s) should be slightly depressed at the center; that is a sign of a successful seal.
Store in a cool, dry place. Do not open for at least 6 weeks to allow the flavors to develop.
Adapted from "The Pickled Pantry: From Apples to Zucchini, 150 Recipes for Pickles, Relishes, Chutneys and More," by Andrea Chesman (Storey, 2012).
Tested by Cecilia Stoute.
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