This is one of the stinkiest ferments to open, but surprisingly delicious and a fabulous addition to a charcuterie plate. Cauliflower can take more flavours, which get stronger the longer you leave it. It is regularly paired with curry spices, so go ahead and try that too if you like.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Fermentation time: 1-6 weeks
Equipment: 2 L (68 fl oz) jar, air-lock system, weight
- 2 litres (68 fl oz/ 8 cups) water
- 4 tablespoons fine salt
- 1 cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 tarragon sprigs
- 3 dried or fresh birds eye chillies
- 2 teaspoons yellow or brown mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- a few black peppercorns
- 1 vine leaf or another tannin-rich leaf
- Make a brine with the water and salt.
- Pack the cauliflower tightly into the jar, leaving headroom and without breaking the florets. Add the garlic, tarragon, chillies, seeds and peppercorns, then top with the vine leaf.
- Pour the brine over, making sure to cover the contents. Weigh down the cauliflower, ensuring it stays under the brine, but leaving headroom – don’t fill to the brim.
- To seal, I use an air-lock system for this ferment as it is very active. Let it ferment at room temperature for a week, then seal with a lid and put it into the fridge to keep fermenting a bit longer. Cauliflower is the kind of ferment that could benefit from a ‘kimchi fridge’ or wine fridge. It could ferment for 6 weeks in a cool place.
- Open and eat. The brine is as good as any and can be taken straight. The cauliflower will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.
- Nibble on this with a dish of yoghurt on the side to dip the florets into as you go.
This is an edited extract from Ferment For Good by Sharon Flynn, published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $39.99. Now available to purchase in-store at Harris Farm Markets.
Photography: ©Tara Pearce