About The Recipe
While ever popular in Europe and Asia, the humble cauliflower seems to be underrated and underappreciated in Northern America. It’s cruciferous cousin, broccoli, has been ruling the roost for way too long and it’s time to make space for this worthy component.
In recent years, cauliflower has been elevated to “Superfood” status. And rightly so, as it is high in nutrients, flavor and a dream ingredient to cook with. What’s more, it’s inexpensive so if you’re working on a tight budget, this veggie should become a staple in your household. Its subtle flavor combines well with other ingredients enhancing the texture and appetizing factor of any dish.
Apart from its flavor and texture, cauliflower is packed with important health-giving vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Just incase you’ve never come across the term phytochemicals, these are chemicals derived from plants that have disease preventive properties. To give you a snapshot of some of the health benefits to be gained from consuming cauliflower regularly:
- Helps fight against cancer. Sulforaphane, a compound found in cauliflower, has been proven to kill cancer cells.
- High in Vitamin C and antioxidants such as Beta-carotene.
- A rich source of dietary fiber.
- Improves blood pressure and kidney function.
- Keeps the ageing process at bay!
However, recent studies have shown that key phytonutrients and minerals are lost when cauliflower is boiled or steamed for a long time. The preferred choice of cooking to retain as much of these nourishing nutrients as possible is either to eat it raw or to preserve it (an excellent choice.)
Cultures all over the globe have been preserving food for thousands of years. Preserving is not as hard as it sounds and it comes with plenty of advantages.
Let’s Get started
There are several preservation techniques but we’re going to focus on fermentation. Practically any vegetable can easily be fermented in a jar so long as you have your basic brine solution - a mix of salt and water that naturally converts into food preserving lactic acid.
There is no need to spend a fortune on commercially produced probiotic rich foods when fermentation can be achieved right from your own kitchen, in a minimal amount of time, at a fraction of the cost!
What You Need
- 1 Quart of water
- 3 Tbsp. sea salt
- 1 medium head of cauliflower (about 3 cups small florets)
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
- 5 Cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- In a saucepan heat water. Add salt and stir till dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
- Place garlic cloves in the bottom of a pre-sterilized, wide mouth mason glass jar. Next, add in the curry powder followed by the cauliflower florets.
- Carefully pour the cooled brine over the vegetables until completely covered but leaving 1 1/2 inches of headspace.
- It is always recommended that you keep your veggies below the brine. If you are looking for tips to keep your vegetables submerged check out our guide here: Tips on keeping your vegetables submerged
- Cover the jar with the Easy Fermenter Lid to ensure perfect fermentation results.
- Store in a cool, dark place (room temperature 60-70°F is preferred,) for 1 to 2 weeks.
- Once jar has been opened, move to cold storage. The flavor will continue to develop as the cauliflower ages.
Fermented cauliflower florets make a mouthwatering condiment at any mealtime. It’s crunchy texture and tangy flavor is so much more appetizing than the mushy, boiled alternative. Kids will love these too! Great to snack on when feeling peckish or while watching tv. They also make an awesome addition to salads and casseroles. So easy to make and definitely easy to enjoy.
Variations To The Ferment
Cauliflower can be preserved on its own or in numerous other exciting ways. You can keep things simple or get as fancy as you want. It is most common to flavor cauliflower with spices - as in our featured recipe. Piccalilli for example is a super popular relish in the United Kingdom (similar to chow-chow) made mostly with cauliflower and curry spices. But in the small chance curry spice-mixes are not your thing, never fear. Other ingredients can be substituted to flavor your cauliflower. For example, if you’re partial to Mediterranean flavors, this can easily be pulled off by substituting curry spices with whole cloves of peeled garlic, bay leaves and black peppercorns. Don’t be afraid to be creative.