Jamaican Jardinière Pickles

Aromatic allspice berries and fiery Scotch bonnet chiles give these pickles their Caribbean edge. Be careful when cutting chiles: to avoid irritation, wear thin rubber gloves and don't touch your face.

Yield: MAKES 2 1/2 QUARTS
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds cauliflower, separated into small florets
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 3-by-1/2-inch sticks
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
  • 12 Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, 6 halved
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 large thyme sprigs
  • One 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 quart white vinegar, plus more if needed
  • 1/3 cup whole allspice berries, 1 tablespoon crushed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, coarsely crushed

Preparation

  1. 1. In a medium saucepan of boiling water, blanch the cauliflower for 1 minute. Drain and let cool.
  2. 2. In one 2 1/2-quart heatproof jar or a few smaller jars, pack the cauliflower, carrots, bell pepper, chiles, garlic cloves, thyme sprigs and ginger slices, alternating them in an attractive pattern.
  3. 3. In the saucepan, combine the vinegar, allspice, sugar, salt and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat until the sugar dissolves. Ladle the pickling liquid into the jar. If necessary, add more vinegar to cover the vegetables. Let the pickles cool, then cover with a lid and refrigerate until very flavorful, at least 10 days.
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