Who Knew…

4 Dec

That the Iranians love dill?

I love dill too. Perhaps I could help broker a more perfect peace, based totally and utterly on a mutual appreciation for the beautifully feathery, horribly misunderstood herb.

Iranian Pickled  Cauliflower With Dill

And how is that I know that Iran has a love affair with dill? I woke up on Saturday with a powerful craving for cauliflower curry. I looked on the Internet for a recipe, but gosh darnit, if cauliflower curry isn’t popular! There were so many recipes, all so similar… I wanted something more, well, unique, a curry to call my own (more on that later).

So I stepped away from the computer and looked to my bookshelves, and wouldn’t you know, but I only own one cookbook with curry recipes, and not only that, it’s a relic from my misguided days spent as a vege; Madhur Jaffrey’s World-Of-The-East Vegetarian Cooking.

Sunshine On Fifth Ave.

And you know what else? Rascally Madhur that she is, doesn’t call any of the dishes in this muti-culti book curries! Like, she actually makes you read the recipes and stuff, and thumb through and goggle at all the amazing variety of the cuisines of Asia, the sub-continent and the Middle East!

So there I sat thumbing, putting together a recipe for curry in my head when I stumbled upon a recipe called “Cauliflower Pickled With Dill” from Iran. Pickled? Cauliflower? Can we get a “Hell yeah!” in the blogosphere? I sure got one in my living room. Trying to convince the boy to let me make pickled cauliflower is like trying to get Homer to eat a donut. In other words, not that hard.

Giraffes On Gramercy Park

We tromped to Kalustyan’s for supplies, then tromped to the greenmarket for some cruciforms, and here I must issue a warning. People. Fresh cauliflower season seems to be on the wane! Get out there and grab a head! Make this recipe now!

Okay, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. So make the pickles I did. Hands down, easiest pickles ever. No noxious fumes, no processing, no sealing. The hardest part is waiting the 12 hours before eating them. But it was totally worth it! They’re slightly hot, lusciously garlicky, pleasing, puckeringly vinegary and of course utterly dilly.

Iranian Pickled  Cauliflower With Dill

So, to the IAEA, the UN and all other concerned parties I say: Let there be peace through pickles. Go on, give it a go, what can it hurt? Nothing else’s worked so far.

I think I’m going to make up some bumper stickers.

Head below the jump for the recipe for Iranian Cauliflower Pickles With Dill.

Iranian Cauliflower Pickles With Dill

prep time: 15 minutes ~ cooking time: 5 minutes ~ waiting time: 12 hours ~ special equipment: 2 half-pint wide-mouth canning jars.

  • 1 head Cauliflower
  • 2 + a little cups White Distilled Vinegar
  • Salt
  • 24 of your very best Black Peppercorns (this is the time to pull out those special ones you’ve been hoarding away)
  • 4 dried hot Indian Red Peppers
  • 2 tsps dried Dill
  • 4 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced

Combine the vinegar, peppercorns, peppers, dill and salt to taste. Set aside.

Set a large pot of heavily salted water to boil. Meanwhile break the cauliflower into small-to-medium sized florets that will easily fit into the jars and pickle in 12 hours. Place a colander in the sink and rinse the florets.

When the water boils, dump the florets in and watch closely. When the water begins to boil again, immediately turn the heat off, and dump the florets back into the colander. Rinse with cold water.

In the bottom of each jar, place 1/4 of the sliced garlic. Layer in cauliflower until half full (it’s okay if the cauliflower is still a little warm, in fact,it’s probably best). Place the rest of the garlic (1/2 to each jar) and 2 of the peppers in each jar. Add the rest of the cauliflower and pour in the vinegar concoction trying to make sure each jar gets an equal amount of dill and peppercorns. Top off with more plain vinegar if needed.

That’s it! Just pop the jars into your fridge and bite your fingernails until 12 hours have passed and you can finally dig in!

Enjoy! And remember, Peace Through Pickles!

11 Responses to “Who Knew…”

  1. jenblossom December 4, 2006 at 12:46 pm #

    Oh, WOW. I must try these. My father used to work with a gentleman who brought in 2 liter mason jars of pickled jalapenos which also had whole garlic cloves, carrots and cauliflower in them, and I would immediately dig out the cauliflower and eat it myself (good thing nobody else in the family liked it!) YUM!

  2. LittleLibrarian December 4, 2006 at 8:53 pm #

    Speaking of pickles of the non-cucumber variety, do you have a favorite recipe for kimchee? There are so many and I can’t seem to find the perfect one. Since you are an admitted pickle addict, I am hoping you can help get me out of this particular pickle. Ahem. Thanks!

  3. Julie December 5, 2006 at 10:57 am #

    These sound really, really good. Wow!

  4. ann December 5, 2006 at 2:16 pm #

    Jenblossom — I hope you do, and I hope they bring you much joy, happiness and peace!

    LL — wow! that’s quite the question! to be honest I don’t think of kimchi and sauerkraut as pickles. They are actually both fermented cabbages meaning the sourness comes from bacteria as opposed to be preserved in vinegar. in fact I believe most sauerkraut has no vinegar in it at all (but my fave way to prepare it is to braise it in some white wine & vinegar with juniper berries, delish!)

    here’s a link about making sauerkraut that just happened to have posted today: http://kitchen.apartmenttherapy.com/food/miscellaneous/inspiration-homemade-sauerkraut-015385
    maybe just a tweak here and there and you’ll have kimchi.
    For some reason this question screams Grocery Guy to me, checkout his blog: http://www.groceryguy.blogspot.com/ and send him an email, tell him Ann sent ya ;-)

    Julie — oh they are, oh they are… :-)

  5. sher December 5, 2006 at 3:27 pm #

    Good heavens those look good!! I have my own little love affair with dill. Beautiful pictures!

  6. Rebecca December 6, 2006 at 4:34 am #

    I adore Madhur Jaffrey. She’s an angel in female form. I would looooove the make these.

  7. lee December 6, 2006 at 8:23 am #

    If you make those bumper stickers I want one! I just got my license to make pickles and jellies for real. Yay!

    LittleLibrarian- I will be posting a kimchi recipe in the near future.

  8. Graham December 7, 2006 at 12:53 pm #

    Thanks for such a great recipe. I just finnished an afternoon snack of those pickles with some crackers and herb goat cheese I picked up at Stinky Bklyn. Keep up the good work!

  9. ann December 11, 2006 at 8:21 am #

    Graham — I’m pleased as punch! Thanks for letting me know.

    Lee — You’ll get the first one

    Rebecca — Go for it! they’re about as difficult to make as spaghetti-o’s

    Sher — Dill rawks! that’s my second bumper sticker…

  10. Sarah January 1, 2007 at 5:43 pm #

    Pickled cauliflower! Must be one of the few pickled treats I haven’t tried. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Lily February 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Love this! Made it before and had to search for it again to make it last night. Hubby and I are totally enjoying it now. BTW, Cauliflower is actually really good in curry … so are zucchinis — except they fall apart a little too easily. :)

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