Spicy Pickled Cauliflower (Escabeche)

Adapted from The Minimalist Baker


  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 1-2 medium jalapeño peppers, sliced (seeds intact)
  • Optional: 1/2 small, habanero pepper, chopped (seeds intact)
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3-4 Tbsp lime juice, plus more to taste



  • 1 ½ cups distilled white vinegar, plus more as needed
  • 1/2-cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup (or substitute cane sugar, honey, or stevia, to taste)
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt, plus more to taste



Add cauliflower florets to sterilized quart sized large mason jars or glass container (using as many as needed), along with jalapeño peppers, (optional) habanero pepper, garlic, and lime juice. Set aside.

In a small saucepan add distilled white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir to fully dissolve salt and maple syrup.

Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt or maple syrup to taste.

Pour the hot brine over the cauliflower until your glass container(s) are full. Ensure the cauliflower is fully submerged. If needed, add more vinegar or a little water to cover.

Seal well and shake to combine. Then refrigerate for at least 1 hour. The flavors will deepen and intensify the longer it marinates. Best flavor is achieved after 24 hours.

These will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks (sometimes longer). Not freezer friendly.