In Greece, cauliflower is called “kounoupidi” and its a winter vegetable usually steamed/boiled or pickled and enjoyed throughout the colder months. Toursi are pickled vegetables and practically anything can and will be pickled from eggplants to beans, green tomatoes to peppers and onions to cauliflower.
I made some Fakkes (classic Greek lentil soup) last week and although it’s enjoyed all year’ round it gets added into the rotation of dishes more often during Lent and other fasting periods. Easter for Greek-Orthodox Christians arrives one week after the Catholic Easter and plans are already being made for the big feast.
In the meantime, another bowl of Fakkes are on the table but to break-up the monotony I like to add some various sides to the soup: make some warm marinated olives or serve with a different type of pickled vegetables. One of my faves is this family recipe of pickled cauliflower mixed with the usual veggies like carrots, celery red peppers, garlic and parsley.
My mother is one of five siblings and back then she lived in a household of nine (grandparents and parents included). My Yiayia Agape (maternal grandmother) would make a batch of this toursi for the family and the great thing about is that it didn’t take too long to make, it was economical and a delicious side and/or meze.
This recipe is for those who lack the patience to wait weeks for pickled vegetables to be ready. The cauliflower and accompanying veggies first steep in sea salt then in wine vinegar. They are finished off with an olive oil/sunflower oil combo and it’s good/keeps for weeks.
(makes 4 large jars)
1 head cauliflower
6 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 cm slices
4 red bell peppers diced
1/2 bunch of parsley, chopped
1/2 head garlic, sliced
4 stalks of celery (plus leaves) sliced
2 hot banana peppers, sliced
2/3 cup sea coarse salt
50/50 olive oil/sunflower oil
- Rinse all your vegetables and place all the vegetables in a bowl, add the salt and toss well. Allow to steep for 4 hours.
- Squeeze excess liquid in batches with your hands and place in other bowl with enough vinegar to just cover the vegetables and allow to steep for 3-4 hours…depending how tart you would like your toursi. Taste after 3 hours and judge by your taste, leaving in the vinegar if you like your vegetables to be more tart.
- Again, squeeze your vegetables with your hands, place in jars with a combo of olive/sunflower oil. Seal with lids and place in fridge. Keeps well for 6 weeks.
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