A couple weeks back, I bought a bright green head of romanesco broccoli. It was more money than I should have spent on a single handful of produce, but ever since trying it a few years back as a pickle on the Farmhouse Platter at Supper, I’ve had a weakness for it.
I like it best as a quick pickle (also known as a refrigerator pickle), because it stays most crunchy and crisp that way. You also retain more color if you keep it out of a boiling water bath canner.
It’s an easy pickle to make. Take on head of romanesco broccoli and break it into florets. Because of the spiral arrangement of the little fractal heads, it typically breaks apart quick easily. Place spices in the bottom of the jar and pack the florets in on top (my particular head fit perfectly into a pint and a half).
Heat apple cider vinegar, water and salt together just until the salt dissolves. Pour the pickling liquid over the florets and use a chopstick to ease out any air bubbles.
Place a lid on the jar. Once it is cool, pop it into the fridge and let it sit for about a week before beginning to munch. You’ll end up with deeply tangy, crunchy pickles. This time of year, when soups and braises appear on our weekly menu with greater frequency, having these in the fridge makes me very happy. The recipe is after the jump.
Winners! Jennifer (#455) wins the set of Weck Jars and the ladle from Kaufmann Mercantile. Jan Jack (#183) wins the Jars Go To tote from A Tiny Forest.
Quick Pickled Romanesco Broccoli
- 1 small head romanesco broccoli
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dill seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 2 garlic cloves
- Break broccoli into florets.
- Combine vinegar, water, and salt and bring to a boil.
- Place spices and garlic cloves into the bottom of a large jar.
- Pack broccoli in on top of the spices.
- Pour pickling liquid over the broccoli.
- Remove air bubbles with a chopstick.
- Place a lid on the jar and allow it to cool.
- Refrigerate jar for one week before eating.
Can this be made with regular broccoli? I have a bunch I need to use in something!
Kelly, I wouldn’t recommend it. Romanesco is denser than regular broccoli, the better substitute is cauliflower.
ok, thanks. i just don’t want to freeze it, so was looking for a different option!
Oh how I love romanesco!!! There’s a frozen vegetable mix here that has Romanesco in it, and it’s the only frozen vegetable I buy (other than corn and peas, cause they’re just better than canned). I’ve never seen them fresh, but I will continue hoping!
There were two typos: ‘ease’ and ‘munch’ were spelled incorrectly. However I am continually enthralled by your descriptions and magnificent photography, so it’s all good. 😉
Hooray for refrigerator pickles! I don’t think I’ve ever eaten romanesco any way but sauteed with garlic or roasted, so I’m definitely intrigued.
I have never used cider vinegar for fridge pickles. How does it differ from regular white vinegar? Thanks.
It’s slightly sweeter. I’ve come to prefer apple cider over white distilled for all pickles.
I’ve been waiting for something like this! How long do these last in the fridge?
They keep for weeks!
Oh, that’s pretty! I wanna try!
Can you adapt this to can with a water bath process?
You could process it for 10 minutes, but you would lose much of the texture.
Do you think that a low temperature pasteurization would keep them from getting soft?
It certainly would help!
Romanesco is my favorite vegetable and I’m obsessed with pickles, so I don’t know why I’ve never pickled romanesco, but I’m doing it right now, thanks to you!
We got romanesco at our last CSA distribution, but we ate it already 🙁 Now I’m really hoping we can get some more next week cause these sound awesome!
Thank you, thank you!! I received romanesco in my CSA basket and I had no idea what to do with it. I can even get my kids to eat it as a pickle! Thanks again 🙂
These are in the fridge, waiting impatiently, but they’re floating a good inch off the bottom of the jar. Grrr! They’re so solid, you’d think they wouldn’t float.
Btw, my family gave me your book for a holiday gift! So excited to have tested small-batch recipes instead of having to convert regular recipes by myself, and it’s such a gorgeous book!
That’s sounds like a good base pickle idea but lacks any real dimension – how about a little fennel or dill or perhaps spice it up with a touch of slices jalapeño ??
Those are all viable options. Feel free to make those adjustments.