Recipe: Fermented Cauliflower With Turmeric

This recipe for fermented cauliflower has a touch of spice and a ton of flavor, thanks to the inclusion of garlic and turmeric in the pickle.

by Stephanie Thurow
PHOTO: Stephanie Thurow

This mildly spicy cauliflower, garlic and turmeric ferment is a must have. The pickles are delicious, and the fermented cauliflower maintains a nice crunch, even after it is fermented.

These fermented cauliflower pickles make a great condiment. Enjoy as a quick and flavorful snack between meals, or an easy and healthy side dish.

Yield: 1 quart jar

Fermented Cauliflower Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (about one small head of cauliflower)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-2 jalapenos, sliced, (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp. whole black peppercorns (optional)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt dissolved in 2 cups of water
  • 2 tsp. ground turmeric (or 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped)

Wash cauliflower and cut florets into uniform-sized pieces so that it ferments evenly. Pack ingredients into a clean quart jar, beginning with the peppercorns (optional), garlic, then jalapenos and cauliflower.

Mix the brine ingredients together and pour the brine over the produce until everything is completely submerged. Be sure to leave 1-2 inches of headspace from the brine level to the rim of the jar.

If you have a small fermentation jar weight, add it to the jar to keep the ingredients completely submerged under the brine. Remove any small pieces of cauliflower that float up to the top of the brine.

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Add the Mason jar canning lid and ring. Tightly screw it onto the jar.

Read more: Keep the fermentation going with this pickled onion recipe!


This is a 6-day ferment. Ferment at room temperature, ideally between 60-75 degrees F (15-23 degrees C), and keep out of direct sunlight.

Check on the fermented cauliflower daily to make sure the brine stays over the produce. This is a crucial step in all vegetable fermentation, as any produce above the brine is prone to mold.

If the produce is above the brine, use a clean utensil to push the produce back down below the brine. Burp the jar daily—unscrew the lid briefly and tighten it back on to allow any built-up gas to release (and avoid jar breakage).

This is an active ferment. Foam-like bubbling after a day or two is totally normal and a sign that things are fermenting along, just as they should be.

After 6 days, taste test the fermented cauliflower to determine if they are fermented enough and that the flavor is ideal. If the cauliflower tastes as it does in the raw form, you will want to ferment a day or two longer and taste test again.

Once the cauliflower pickles are sour and flavor packed, transfer the jar into the refrigerator, with the brine and all.

The ferment will last nearly indefinitely, however the texture and flavor will continue to change. Fermentation does not stop once refrigerated, it just slows way down.

This ferment tastes best when enjoyed within 6 months.

Side Notes

If you do not have a glass jar weight, you can improvise by using an easily removable small food-grade glass dish that fits inside the jar. Or, if you have a smaller glass canning jar that can fit into the mouth of the jar you are fermenting with, you can use that to keep the produce pushed under the brine

If you are unsure if your water is safe for fermentation, you can boil it and allow it to cool to room temperature before adding in the salt to make your brine.

You may use fine sea salt instead of coarse kosher salt if you prefer. Just adjust the fermented cauliflower recipe to 1 1/4 tbsp. fine sea salt.

This recipe has been adapted from Can It & Ferment It (2017) with permission from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

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