Welcome to week 28! Where has this year gone?
This week, I am featuring a recipe from my friend Melanie, publisher of the Pickle Me Too website. Melanie is also a fellow Nourished Living Network blogger and I have really enjoyed getting to know her over the last year or so. You might remember Melanie from when she stopped by back in February and shared her recipe for lactofermented Brussels sprouts. Yum!
I am doing a recipe review of sorts. You see, I have been seeing some of my friends just raving about how amazing Melanie’s Indian Spiced Lactofermented Cauliflower was. I, however, was skeptical. First, I am still new to fermenting and I am not very adventurous. I was a little concerned about the flavor, because I have never really used a lot of spices in my ferments before. I don’t know why I was concerned, considering curry is one of my favorite foods and I love the Indian spices used to make curry blends.
So, I decided to jump in and try it.
And it was amazing.
Probably one of the best ferments I have ever made.
The only terrible thing about it is that I will no longer be making it. Since I am getting serious about my thyroid health, I will be avoiding all goitrogenic foods, at least for awhile. Once I get a handle on things, I will perhaps add some of them back into my diet, but since lacotfermentation actually increases the goitrogenic effects, I am going to steer clear of fermenting cabbage, cauliflower, chard, etc. When I do add them back into my diet, they will be in cooked form.
Now, a couple notes about this recipe.
1. Melanie’s original recipe uses a Mason jar. Since we are no longer using Mason jars to ferment in, she has written up a handy, dandy post about how to convert your Mason jar ferments to Pickl-It or Fido jar ferments. Like me, Melanie will at some point get her recipes updated for the Pickl-It method, but until then, this post is great! I will be going back through some of the older 52 Weeks of Bad A** Bacteria recipes and posting updated versions using the Pickl-Its and Fidos.
2. The original recipe makes approximately 2 quarts. I used a 1.5 liter jar and it fit perfectly.
3. Investing in a kitchen scale is a great idea, so that you can measure out your salt. You will be shocked to discover that the 2% brine that is recommended for most vegetable ferments is way less salty that what your traditional Mason jar recipes call for. One reason I never really liked ferments is because they always were so salty. Some recipes called for 3 tbsp. of salt, but there is such a variance in the size of the salt (from super fine to super course), it was hard to get a consistent recipe.
Indian Spiced Lactofermented Cauliflower (a recipe review)
Melanie’s Original Recipe
makes approx. 2 quarts
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp turmeric
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tbsp sea salt
1/4 cup whey, veggie starter or an additional tbsp of salt
In a 1/2 gallon mason jar, layer cauliflower, spices and salt, gently pressing cauliflower in. Pour whey over the top and fill jar with filtered water. Cover tightly and shake to disperse spices and dissolve salt. Loosen cover and let set at room temp for 3-5 days. I like to tighten the lid on the last day of fermentation to seal in a little effervescence. Nothing more fun than fizzy vegetables!
makes approx. 1.5 liters
1 head of cauliflower (mine was medium-ish), chopped into bite sized pieces
1.5 tbsps. my own curry powder blend
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tbsp. chili powder blend
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1.5 liters of 2% brine (19 grams of salt per 1 quart of water)
1. Make your brine. 19 grams of salt to 1 quart of water – for this recipe, double the brine and then save what little is left over. I always make my brine in big batches and then just store the extra for when I need it.
2. Chop your cauliflower into bite sized pieces.
3. Slice your garlic cloves into thin strips. You can also crush them, like Melanie does. I like the thin strips, because it’s just enough to give you a nice garlicky zing, but not enough to burn your mouth.
4. Stir all of your spices together, so that you can sprinkle it over your cauliflower in layers.
5. Pack your cauliflower into the jar, alternating with a layer of cauliflower, a little sliced garlic, and a sprinkle of the seasoning. Really pack it down in there.
6. Use a weight over the cauliflower to keep it submerged. There are all sorts of things that you can use for weights. I use a small glass jar sometimes. Other times, I use a little glass candle holder that I found at the dollar store.
7. Pour the brine over the cauliflower and fill it to the neck of the jar, leaving about 1 inch of room between the top of the brine and the lid.
8. Place in a part of your house that is between 68 and 72 degrees. That is the ideal fermentation temperature, however, if your house is like mine, it’s never that cool, except in the middle of winter. So, I put my ferments in the basement, where the temp stays around 75.
9. Wrap your jars in a towel – UV light destroys the lactic-acid bacteria that we are trying to cultivate. Make sure you don’t cover the airlock, if you’re using a Pickl-It jar.
10. Leave at room temperature until the bubbling stops (also, check the airlock daily to make sure it still has adequate water). When the bubbling stops, it means that the active fermentation process is done and it can then be moved to the fridge. To see if there is active bubbling, you can tap on the outside of the jar and you will see bubbles rise to the top. If no bubbles rise, it’s done. In my basement, mine took 5 full days. And, honestly, I think I should have left them for another day, but I was just too darn excited to eat them …
11. Move to the fridge. I remove the airlock lid and replace with a standard Fido lid for storage.
12. Let chill completely and then enjoy!