Early Bird Gets the…

August 30, 2010

I Can

… spicy pickled cauliflower. If you live in Vancouver, or not too far away, I will give away a jar to the first six of you who recommend a new favourite song to me. For the rest of you not so early risers, here is a superb recipe for canning your own. I have adapted it from a recipe that appeared in Fine Cooking magazine a few years ago. Some of my friends have, both flatteringly and surprisingly, consumed an entire jar in one visit. I have also heard “When are we canning cauliflower?” a million times from a couple of you. This doesn’t mean you’re not welcome to come over and can just because you have the recipe, you are. Anytime. Just let me know. Bring your own cauliflower and jars and we can can together.

Makes six pint jars

one large or two small heads of cauliflower, cut into small florets

two medium carrots, peeled and sliced into angled coins

six Thai bird chilies, split, optional

2 teaspoons mustard seed

2 teaspoons coriander seed

1 teaspoon cumin seed

2 cups water

4 cups apple cider vinegar

1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced

10 cloves of garlic, peeled and slightly smashed

3/4 cup agave

1/4 cup coarse sea salt

2 teaspoons black peppercorns

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Prepare your clean jars for canning by sterilizing, I like to do this in the oven. Meanwhile, fill a canning pot 3/4 full and bring to a boil. In a small pan, heat lids in almost simmering hot water until ready to use. Have screw bands clean and ready.

Make your brine by toasting mustard, coriander and cumin seeds in a large pot over medium heat until fragrant, about two minutes. Add water, apple cider vinegar, onions, garlic, agave, sea salt, peppercorns and turmeric. Increase heat and bring brine to a boil. In the meantime, prepare your vegetables and then pack into hot, sterilized jars. When brine is at a rolling boil, remove from heat and carefully ladle into jars over vegetables, leaving about a half inch of headspace. Make sure to evenly ladle in the onions, garlic and spices with the brine. The cauliflower will stain a gorgeous acid yellow and your eyes will water from the incidental onion and vinegar facial. Take a clean chopstick and poke it into the jar, between the vegetables and the glass. This will release trapped air bubbles. With a clean cloth, wipe down the jar rims so that they are sparkling clean. Lift lids one at a time from their hot water bath and place on top of jar and then secure in place with a screw band, fingertip tight.

The water in the canner should be boiling. Carefully set jars onto the rack and lower into the boiling water. Process for ten minutes and then remove onto a tray or surface covered with a tea towel. Let sit undisturbed overnight. Store the pickles for at least two days before enjoying. I like to have them cold from the fridge. They won’t last long. With that in mind, this recipe is easily doubled.

If You Can’t

Maybe you think you can’t. Or you might not want to bother with buying/owning/storing a canner and jars. You simply want spicy pickled cauliflower and you didn’t get up early enough. Or we don’t have the same taste in music. This is what you can do: Put all vegetables into a large heat-proof bowl. Cover with hot brine, cool and store in fridge for at least two days. And you thought you couldn’t can. They’ll keep in the fridge for two weeks but, again, they won’t last for that long.

Pucker Up


16 Responses to “Early Bird Gets the…”

  1. brian gourley said

    My New Best song “GONE” by Ferlin Husky not sure if I spelt Ferlin right but I sure am close. Where’s my jar of pickles? Do you deliver or what?

  2. Julie said

    May I recommend an entire album? Arcade Fire’s “Suburb” is soooo good! Love it almost as much as I love spicy, pickled cauliflower. YUM! Great contest!

  3. Holly said

    I’m with Julie, Arcade Fire’s new album is fantastic. I also love the song “Home” by Edwarde Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

  4. Jen said

    I have to agree wholeheartedly with Holly and Julie. My favourite song as of late is “Giving up the Gun” by Vampire Weekend. They played a stellar show on Saturday night at the Malkin Bowl!

  5. Jen said

    C’est si bon, a French classic.
    Yves Montand version.

  6. katie said

    Love your dad’s message…And hmmm, my new favourite song is “GIVE ME SOME PICKLES!”…by the bossy katiekates….

    • Cole said

      I do not think that is a real song!!!

      • dawnegourley said

        I think I’m going to add some fine print. Katie, Nicole is right, that is NOT a real song. I would like to point out that this excellent idea of a contest was your idea. I hate to throw you in your own face but you said “You can’t just give them away. Have a contest… ” Um, so, you’re kind of disqualified. Also, you don’t automatically win just by submitting your song, I have to actually like it. Dad.

  7. Cole said

    May I recommend COOLER THAN ME by Mike Posner.

    PS I will come get the jar of goodness when i see you in November.

  8. brian gourley said

    OH!I see it has to be your new favorite song, not mine. Do I still get a jar?

  9. jevanshead said

    Damn it!

    “Lazy Eye” by the Silversun Pickups.

    I concur with Jen on the new Vampire Weekend album. it’s amazing and I have it for you! Hmmm on second thought perhaps you have something you would like to trade me for it.

  10. katie said

    Shoot…it’s true..That was my idea and I should be disqualified…i think I just got nervous when I saw that people were recomending actual cool, relevant music…I didn’t want to publicly out myself and my bad taste in music. Now give me a jar anyway.
    the end.

  11. dawnegourley said

    Thanks for all my favourite new songs everybody – you rock. Everyone shall get a jar of pickles! Some as reward for great music, others for their insistence.

  12. court e nay said

    oh nooooooooooooooo I am too late damn whistler can i just come over and eat a jar

  13. Ken Gourley said

    You would, I think really enjoy “JOHNNY HARTMAN and JOHN COLTRANE” doing anyone of their numbers such as”LUSH LIFE” or perhaps “CHAKA KAHN” doing “ROLL ME THROUGH THE RUSHES LIKE MOSES ON THE NILE” long winded but life changing! Love Etc. KDG

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