Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lacto-fermented Cauliflower

Pickling vegetables by means of lacto-fermentation is one of the easiest of all preserving processes. And best of all, this process keeps the pickles rich in beneficial bacteria. Because this is a brining process, which does not require water-bath canning, the pickles are crunchy, tasty, and good for your digestion.

To make these pickles you will need some wide-mouthed, one-quart sized canning jars, sea salt, and filtered or pure water. (We use our tap water, as we have a well and add no softeners or other additives.)

These annotated pictures illustrate the steps we follow:

Cut cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.

Then pack them tightly into one quart jars.

Add one Tablespoon of salt to each jar.
Fill jars with water, leaving about 3/4 inch of headspace,
as the vegetables and their juices expand slightly during fermentation.
Cap the jar tightly, and shake the jar briskly, to distribute the salt throughout the jar.
Store the jars at room temperature for several days, then store jars in a dark, cool spot, ideally at about 40 degrees. (Refrigerate if you expect to store them for a while.)

During the fermentation process, the liquid may get cloudy and bubble, and the jars give off quite a sulfurous odor, so we store ours on the screened porch.

Lacto-fermented vegetables increase in flavor over time, but they may be eaten after the initial room-temperature brining. The cauliflower will have a tangy flavor, reminiscent of the flavor of beer. And, like beer, it is an "acquired taste:" a bit surprising at first, but then quite addictive.

For a complete discussion of the nutritional benefits of lacto-fermentation see the book Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the Lacto-fermented cucumbers you made. I am ready to try to make my own!