This kind of pickling - called quick pickling - is easy, only takes a couple of days (no waiting weeks for fermentation!) and is a fun way to add brightness, zing, and acidity to any dish. Pickles go particularly well with fattier foods, like pulled beef, shnitzel, or fried fish.

Suggestions of other vegetables you can use: peppers, carrots, radishes, kohlrabi, green cabbage, onion, fennel, turnipes...etc. You can also mix a few together. I kept the purple cabbage separate because I didn't want it to turn the cabbage purple, but you can definitely combine if you don't mind that (in fact, it might be a cool way to dye the cauliflower!).

Pickling Liquid Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp sugar (more if you prefer sweeter)
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tbsp celery seed
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (more if you prefer more heat)


  1. To give you an idea of how much this makes, I used this amount of liquid to pickle a very small head of cauliflower AND half a head of purple cabbage, sliced. I also included finely sliced onions with both.
  2. Pack your vegetables into a glass jar. Bring pickling liquid to a boil and pour into the jar so that the vegetables are covered. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours.