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Italian-Inspired Spicy Pickled Cauliflower

Italian-Inspired Spicy Pickled Cauliflower

Italian-Inspired Spicy Pickled Cauliflower

Original Post by The Keto Chef aka Cody

Below is a recipe that was super popular on Cody’s blog: Italian-Inspired Spicy Pickled Cauliflower.  He thought that I should migrate it here as he doesn’t use that blog anymore and we’re sure many of you will enjoy this!

Giardiniera, or sotto aceti is an Italian pickle, consisting of Cauliflower, onions, celery and zucchini.

Italian-Inspired Spicy Pickled Cauliflower | Fat to Fit Chick
Italian-Inspired Spicy Pickled Cauliflower

Here in the U.S. they replace zucchini with carrots, and put in bell peppers and other vegetables depending on the brand, whichever it is, it is usually spicy and has a great bite for the vinegar.  In Chicago, a version where they make it with oil, instead of vinegar, is made famous by Italian beef sandwich shops, but that is a whole different animal, or I guess vegetable.

Also, Giadiniera is one of my favorite snacks between meals, as the sharp bite, and heat, really gives you a boost.  The problem is, even as a kid my favorite part was the cauliflower, and often the jars only have 2 or 3 pieces.  Also, I don’t care for celery, and carrots are not very keto friendly: It just made too much sense not to make it myself.

Disclaimer: I am not a canner (as evident by the Empty Goya Olive jar used for this). This is a refrigerator pickle, so it cannot be stored outside the fridge.


  • Half a head of Cauliflower
  • 2/3 cup Distilled white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp of black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp of red pepper flake
  • 2 cups of water (approximately)
  • 1 Tbsp non-Iodized salt
  • 1 Tbsp of Oregano
  • One bay leaf
  • Pinch of Saffron
    • Optional

To begin, place a wire rack in a sauce pan or stock pot, and fill with water and your jar(s) and bring to a boil to kill any bacteria that may be in the jar.

Next, take your peppercorns and a tablespoon of the vinegar and let the liquid reduce over medium heat in the saucepan.  You should be left with a brown syrupy liquid and your peppercorns. This is called Au Sec,  and we are extracting the pepper flavor.  Once the liquid is au sec, add your remaining spices and let them come to a hard boil.

While your jar is boiling and your pickling liquid is coming to temp, break your cauliflower into small pieces. Next, remove your jar and stuff with cauliflower.  Now bring your pot to a boil.

You will most likely have spare liquid just make sure you cover the vegetables completely.  Also, to make sure your jar is brought to temperature place it in the pot while the water is cold.  After that, you can raise the temperature which will ensure that the glass does not crack.

Once the jar has sealed, let it come to room temperature, and then store in the fridge.  It will taste good as soon as it is cold.  However, after a day or so the flavors really intensify, and will be much more enjoyable.

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