Cauliflower pickle

Photo by Simon Lambert.
Photo by Simon Lambert.

This recipe is one I adapted from the old-fashioned pickle named chow chow. I have spiced it up with a combination of mustard, cumin and celery seeds to liven up a classic.


Cauliflower pickle 
Makes 2-3 250ml jars


1 cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 leek, washed and cut into rounds
¼ cup salt
1½ cups white or cider vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
30g flour
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp mustard powder
1 Tbsp celery seeds
1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds



Begin a day ahead by placing the cauliflower florets and leeks into a non-reactive bowl. Sprinkle with all the salt and let sit in a cool place overnight. The salt helps to remove excess moisture, which is essential when making a pickle to preserve.

The next day, pour cold water over the salted vegetables and swirl around a little to dislodge the salt. Drain and rinse off excess salt if need be. Drain well.

Clean and sterilise your jars and lids, if using.

In a large pot place the vinegar and sugars. Stir over high heat until sugar dissolves, and bring to the boil.

Add the cauliflower and leeks, reduce the heat to low and cook the vegetables until tender (10 minutes).

Mix the mustard, turmeric, cumin and flour together with 125ml cold water and stir to form a paste. Stir into vegetables until mixture boils and thickens.

Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Finally, add the celery and mustard seeds.

Pour into your sterilised jars and cool before sealing.


• Alison Lambert is one of the demonstrators at the Otago Farmers Market in Dunedin on Saturday mornings.


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