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Sweet Cauliflower-and-Carrot Pickles

"These came from an overzealous trip to the farmers' market," says chef Naomi Pomeroy. "When I see something beautiful like purple cauliflower, I can't resist." She marinates the vegetables in a mixture that includes sugar and Cointreau, and sometimes honey, too. The sweet pickles can be served as a snack, in salads or on a charcuterie plate.


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: Makes 6 Cups

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  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
  • One 2-inch cinnamon stick, broken
  • 1 tablespoon fennel pollen
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau or other triple sec
  • 6 carrots, sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 head of purple or white cauliflower, cut into 1 1/2-inch florets


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the fennel and coriander seeds, allspice berries, clove, anise seeds and cinnamon stick; toast over moderate heat until fragrant, 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool. Stir in the fennel pollen, bay leaf and crushed red pepper. Wrap the spice mixture in a double layer of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen string.
  2. Add the water to the saucepan along with both vinegars and the sugar, salt and Cointreau. Add the spice bag and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cover and simmer over moderate heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the carrot slices to the simmering liquid and cook until barely tender, 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the carrots to a medium bowl. Repeat the process with the cauliflower and transfer to another bowl. Discard the spice bag and let the pickling liquid cool to warm. Pour the pickling liquid over the carrots and cauliflower. Cover and refrigerate the pickles overnight. Drain the carrots and cauliflower and serve together in a bowl.

Make Ahead

The drained pickles can be refrigerated separately for up to 1 week.

Contributed By Photo © Fredrika Stjarne Published March 2012

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