Quick Pickles: Hot Cauliflower, Onions, and Scapes

Posted on June 22, 2011

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Quick Pickles: Cauliflower, Onion, Scape Mezze

At last count, we have 57 scapes on our hands right now.  Which is awesome since what that really means is that we now have that many garlic bulbs hanging in the basement.  It also means that, like greens, there will be scapes with every meal for the foreseeable future.

In other news, we found a jar of dried cayennes from last year’s garden.  Looks like there will be cayennes with (almost) every meal too.  ( <= fun!)

So, without further ado: the first of what will probably be many garlicky-spicy creations: Hot cauliflower, with spring onions and scapes.

I suppose I should also add that Ardry farm had their first cauliflower today, so that might explain more of this too. We managed to grab their last, tiny head with a mezze spread in mind. I know a lot of folk don’t like cauliflower much, but these are pretty fantastic in my opinion and are worth trying.

Back to scapes:  Scapes took the place of garlic cloves in this spring-summer quick pickle.  There’s a good chance these will be excruciatingly hot. We’ll know in a day or two whether 3 cayennes was an … ambitious?… idea

Hot Cauliflower, Onions, and Scapes

Yield: 2 pint-sized mason jars

Prep and pack your veg into a heat-safe jar. These will be fridge pickles since it’s such a small batch and I expect to eat them this weekend. NOMNOMNOMNOM.

  • cauliflower florets, from one small head, broken into tasty sized bites.
  • 1 scape, cut into 2 or 3 pieces.
  • 2-3 spring onions, whole or halved depending on size.
  • 1-3 cayenne peppers.

A word on prep: you can use carrots, garlic cloves, kohlrabi — I’d recommend things that are crisp, crunchy and relatively robust. Follow your heart.  You could probably also cut these pieces up more.  I cut the scapes into a few pieces and I think you could chop/mince them up more for more flavor, but I wanted the shapes to be interesting and opted for longer, curling/showy pieces. Scapes. Such show-offs.

Scapes

scapes, showing off.

Next: Brine.  Mix up a brine and bring into a boil.  You can play with the flavoring here; we’ve used dill flowers in the past and other assorted dry & fresh herbs.  These amounts will provide enough brine to pack 2 pint size mason jars.  Give the hot brine mixture a good stir and fill your jars.

  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

Done!

Almost.

Loosely cover the filled jars and let cool. Be careful handling the jars, obviously — they’re super hot.  After they’re cooler, you can tighten the lids and toss in the refrigerator. After a few days in the fridge, the flavors will have developed, so wait, if you can.

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Posted in: kitchen