You can forget the food coloring when using these stunning, high-bred, cauliflower for pickling. High-bred varieties range from orange to dark purple, lending their vibrant color to the mix.
The orange cauliflower has higher than normal levels of beta carotene, a form of vitamin A that encourages a healthy skin. "These are the results of traditional selective breeding - where different strains have been cross-bred, and cross-bred, until these strains have been created. Source: UK Mail Online.
Perfect for making cauliflower pickles: high-bred varieties keep up their color, and crunch, for months after pickling. I recently opened a jar that was six months old, they were delicious and crisp as the day I pickled them...yum!
This years pickle project uses the base from last years Hot Giardiniera mix (pictured above, for recipe click the photo) spicier, and a little sweeter, this years pickles pack a real punch.
Last years Hot Giardiniera recipe is tart, spicy, and maintains the crisp texture of the vegetables for several months however, over time the vegetables tend to lose their natural color, leaving them a bit unappealing compared to store-bought, which contain additives, and color enhancers.
When canning, I prefer to use as many natural ingredients as possible, allowing jams, and jellies to reduce to set, without the aid of pectin. I occasionally use pickling Lime but prefer to leave it out unless I'm making Lime Pickles.
Pickling lime for pickling cucumbers the old-fashioned way for extra crispness and flavor! Makes Cucumber Lime Pickles (recipe on each jar), Green Tomato Pickles, Watermelon Rinds and Citron Pickles. Pickling lime is food grade calcium hydroxide with no additives or preservatives. A quality pickling product from Mrs. Wages.
Choosing not to use pickling lime, or adding dye to the recipe, I opted to use the vibrantly colored hybrid, purple, and orange cauliflower. I was pleasantly surprised to see their color held, despite the liquids purple tone. The orange cauliflower turned to a darker, red-orange, and the purple stayed, a deep purple color.
On a side note: I tend to dig around the jar to evacuate the cauliflower pieces first, as they are my favorite part of the mix. This years recipe is a spicier blend of seasonings, using only the cauliflower, forgoing the traditional celery and carrot. The result, less food remorse when tossing out the uneaten bits.
When the family has eaten up all the pickles, I save the pickle juice to use as a condiment for salmon balls or tuna fish cakes. I also use the leftover juices as a pickling brine for hard boiled eggs (purple pickled eggs), very yummy!
Delightfully colored, this is my new favorite pickle recipe, and the perfect accompaniment to my next post...Fried Chicken Livers. By the way, they look amazing!
- 9 cups white vinegar
- 6 cups water
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 large garlic cloves, slivered
- 2 teaspoon black whole peppercorns
- 7 small bay leaves
- 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper, sliced thinly
- 1 yellow or red sweet bell pepper sliced thinly
- 14 Thai hot chili peppers, whole
- Prepare canning jars: wash in soap and water, rinse, and set into a large stock pot, pour enough water into the pot, enough to reach half to three quarters up the sides of jars, wash and rinse lids and rims. (for more info see manufactures instructions)
- Wash and break or cut cauliflower into small florets
- In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients, reserving the cauliflower until later
- Cook over medium high heat until just under a boil
- Add cauliflower florets and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, do not reduce the heat
- Using a strainer or slotted ladle, quickly remove vegetables to a large bowl, set aside
- Using a clean pot holder, remove hot jars from boiling water, set on a clean dish towel,
- Fill jars with cooked cauliflower leaving ¼ inch head space, distribute peppers, and spices evenly among jars
- Using a ladle, and funnel, pour hot liquid over vegetables, to cover
- Place rims and lids on jars, twist to tighten (do not over tighten lids at this point)
- Return the sealed jars to stock pot, and process filled jars for 15 minutes in boiling water
- Carefully remove jars from stock pot to a clean dish towel, rest until each has sealed. You will most likely hear "ping" or "Pop"
- Gently tighten the lids after 30 minutes
- Check seals after pickles have cooled, about 1 hour (it can take up to 24 hours for jars to seal) if the top pops "up" when pressed the jar is not sealed correctly, and should be reprocessed in the hot water bath or can be immediately refrigerated to consumption for up to 2 weeks.
- To avoid eating canned foods that have gone off and may be dangerous to your health, throw away jars that show warning signs. A convex lid means the container was not sealed properly; liquid leaking from the jar means it is possibly broken or was overstuffed; liquid spurting out of the jar when opened is a sign that your food may have started fermenting and is past its due date; and, when unnatural or off odors can be detected, it is time to toss your canned goods into the garbage.
- Clostridium Botulinum
- Most often found in improperly canned foods, the bacteria Clostridium botulinum produce a toxin that causes an illness affecting the nervous system called botulism. The bacteria is an anaerobic organism, which means it lives and grows in low oxygen conditions such as an improperly sealed can or jar.
- Read more: http://www.ehow.com/info_8461422_dangers-home-canning.html#ixzz2d6e0bUyr
For detailed sterilization and canning instruction click HERE