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  • Preserved Cauliflower and Lemon

    Preserved Cauliflower and Lemon

    Many people think pickling is a scary, all-day process with boiling water and handling a lot of hot things. But it doesn’t have to be that complicated. This recipe is a reminder that lacto-fermenting, the oldest-of-old versions of pickling and preserving, is just letting salt and acid work their magic at room temperature on your choice of pickling foods, in this case, lemons and cauliflower. There’s no need for boiling water baths or processing the jars because the acid from the lemon and the salt keep any harmful bacteria at bay.

    The raw cauliflower soaks up all of the amazing salty lemon flavor. It can be eaten plain or used as a garnish, on salads for example. I also stir some of the chopped pickled cauliflower into white bean puree to brighten up the flavor.

    Servings & Time

    • Servings Makes 1 quart
    • Prep 25 minutes, plus 1 week fermenting
    • Cook None


    • 8 to 10 lemons
    • ½ cup sea salt
    • ½ head large cauliflower, cut into small florets


    Cut 2 of the lemons into 4 wedges each, leaving one end intact (so it looks like a flower).

    Generously salt in between the wedges of 1 of the cut lemons and put it in the bottom of a very clean 1-quart Mason jar. Pack about one-half of the cauliflower around the lemon to cover. Salt the second cut lemon and put it on top of the first. Add more cauliflower to cover. Sprinkle with a little more of the salt.

    Juice 6 to 8 of the remaining lemons (keep out the pips!) to get about 1 cup juice. Pour the juice over the lemons and cauliflower to cover ingredients completely. Pour any remaining salt on top.

    Seal the jar and leave on the counter for a week. Move it to the fridge, where it will hold for a month. Use as a condiment with Indian food, with both the lemons and cauliflower being edible.

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