Quick Pickled Cauliflower and Fennel

Quick Pickled Cauliflower and Fennel

I have a confession.  I think this is only the second time I’ve eaten cauliflower in the last five years.  (And for someone who is obsessed with eating veggies, that is a big deal.)

Here’s the issue… I don’t really like cauliflower.  I don’t think it tastes bad, but I just don’t like the texture.  Plus, if I am going to be eating florets of something, I’d rather it be broccoli.  Maybe I’m just weird.

However, this week I learned that I actually really like cauliflower when it’s combined with onions, vinegar, fennel, and a bit of dill.  The nice thing about this recipe is that it’s not truly pickled.  There is no canning or intensive preserving process here.

Instead, the cauliflower is quickly simmered with vinegar and then chilled so it takes on a sweet, tangy pickled taste.  It’s perfect finger food for picnics, long car rides, or just as a fun side at dinner.  Who knows, maybe it might change your mind about cauliflower as well.

Quick Pickled Cauliflower and Fennel


This is my final recipe featuring the beautiful produce from the beautiful Oxbow farm. (And if you didn’t catch my CSA post, be sure to check it out.)  This can be served warm, but I like it best chilled overnight.  If you are looking for delicious summertime appetizers, this cauliflower is a great complement to my spicy carrots.  

Quick Pickled Cauliflower and Fennel
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 4
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large head cauliflower, broken into florets (about 6 cups)
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons dried dill (or several sprigs of fresh dill)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the cauliflower, fennel, water, vinegar, and dill and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender but still crisp. Chill cauliflower and liquid overnight in the refrigerator. Drain liquid and serve cold.

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  1. Lindsay Loves Veggies says

    Have you ever tried roasting cauliflower? That is my absolute favorite way to eat it. It really brings out a nice flavor.

    • says

      I do like roasted cauliflower (I usually roast mine with rosemary), but for some reason I’ll still pick broccoli over cauliflower anytime. :)

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