Wild Garlic Kimchi
This is a great way to preserve all the lovely wild garlic. You can make it as hot as you like by adding more chilli flakes. The Korean chilli flakes are called gochugaru, they also come in powder form and are very hot! I am a chilli wimp and can't deal with spicy food at all so I only add one tablespoon of chilli flakes! I was advising my lovely friend Sumayya Usmani on some ferments for an event she is organising, so Iet her decide how spicy she wanted it! It was way spicier than I could eat but she is an expert with spices and the joy of making your own is you can adjust flavourings and spices to suit your taste!
This is a fast ferment, around 7 days, so not too long before you can eat it!
So wild garlic season is in full swing! Wild garlic are among the first greens to appear in the spring and are always a welcome sight, heralding warmer brighter days.
If you like garlic then you will love wild garlic. You can use it anywhere you would use spinach, in salads, soups, omelettes, dips and pesto.
Most people make wild garlic pesto with oil but I like to make mine with just salt and ferment it for 5 to 7 days for fabulous flavour and loads of probiotics!!
It's a win win situation, seasonal eating at it's best, and wild garlic is free!!
So this pesto is delicious, tangy, garlicky with real texture and umami flavour, and so simple to make!
You can use any combination of nuts and seeds.
Pine nuts, sunflower seeds & a tablespoon lemon juice works well
You can add sun dried tomatoes, olives and harissa for a Mediterranean flavour
Endless possibilities so get your creative hat on and your wellies and go and collect some !
Go to your nearest wood and your nose will guide you to carpets of delicious wild garlic! Be aware that Lily of the Valley sometimes grows beside wild garlic and looks quite similar. It is however poisonous and doesn't smell of garlic. Just take a leaf and crush it, it will smell unmistakably of garlic. Just google it if you are unsure, there are lots of videos and articles on identification.
This is a delicious relish, great with a cheese board or as a topping for yoghurt!
It’s also fab mixed with some cream cheese or kefir cheese as a dip.
If you have either kombucha or water kefir then add a tablespoon or 2 to bring extra probiotics to the party!
If not then this relish will ferment nicely with just the salt or if you want to eat it straight away then that is also fine, it just won’t have active probiotics benefits!
It’s always good to have options! This is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega 3 fats so it will benefit your health however you decide to make it.
If you want to join me on some of my Workshops to learn how to do you own kombucha or Kefir drinks/cheese to improve your health easily just click here.
Makes a 500ml jar
1. Add everything to a food processor and pulse to a coarse paste
2. Taste and adjust flavourings
3. Pack tightly into a 500ml jar and cover with a circle of greaseproof paper
4. Leave an inch of headspace in the jar
5. Ferment at room temp for 5 to 7 days
6. Should taste sour with a bit of sweetness in the background
7. Move to the fridge and use within 2 months
I have been having the best summer, enjoying all the lovely sunshine, going for lots of adventures with Bruce our old Vw Camper Van and generally fermenting everything!!
To say it has become an obsession is a bit of an understatement! I now dream about fermenting stuff!!
My fridge is full of all sorts of jars of starters, milk kefir grains, water kefir grains, seasonal ferments and my cupboard is full of various ferments bubbling away!
Now much as I would love to say I grow all my own veggies, that would be far from the truth! However I am a fan of seasonal eating and in the summer we have so much incredible produce to choose from!
Think juicy tomatoes, crisp green courgettes, shiny peppers, lush green herbs, colourful edible flowers, rosy pink radishes, rainbow coloured salad leaves! I could go on but you get my drift!
I do however grow lots of herbs and I have courgettes and tomatoes this year but none are ready yet! So I'm experimenting with all sorts of flavoured kombuchas, water kefir and fruit Kvass and making use of all my abundant herbs, mint, basil, lemon balm, lemon verbena, thyme, oregano, fennel, borage and nasturtiums!
I ran a workshop last week with my awesome friend Sonnda Catto, a Cordon bleu trained chef, pattisserie expert, nutritionist with the most developed palate I have ever come across! She creates the most amazing freefrom foods I have ever tasted! They may be glutenfree, sugarfree, grainfree, dairyfree but they are most definitely not flavour free!
Sonnda has a restricted diet because of her ME but she certainly makes the the most incredible food from the best quality ingredients! We will be collaborating again and running regular workshops so watch this space for details.
And I will be launching a new programme of workshops, covering all things fermented, details coming soon!
Anyway as usual I digress, I have so much to share with all you lovely people that I simply become overwhelmed and don't know what to share first, so end up sharing nothing!!
So I have decided to focus on tomatoes and give you two new recipes, both fermented, for awesome flavour and health benefits!
These are both really simple and all you need are your ingredients and a glass jar! No cultures or special fermenting equipment required!
Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, which after fermentation becomes more bioavailable, which means your body can use it more efficiently! All sorts of magical stuff happens when you ferment food and its all good!! Lycopene has been associated with reduced risk of several cancers and it can also protect your skin from sun damage! Tomatoes are also rich in potassium which regulates fluid balance and are an excellent source of vitamin C, which also increases during fermentation!
So there you have it! Tomatoes, like all fruits and veggies, are extremely good for you, but fermenting them takes the health benefits to another level, as well as adding lots of gut healing lactobacillus bacteria, which just support every system in your body!
So no excuses, go and ferment some tomatoes!!
These are very aptly named and are indeed wee bombs of flavour with a delicate fizz on the tongue, that only fermentation can provide!
The recipe is so simple, you can hardly call it a recipe!!
CHERRY TOMATO BOMBS
So gather together some wee organic cherry or wee plum tomatoes, or better still use homegrown ones, about 500g.
Find yourself a large glass jar and give it a wash in hot soapy water then rinse it well. I used a large olive jar from Lidl but any glass jar will do.
Make a wee hole in each tomato using a wooden cocktail stick or skewer, pop them in your jar, add 3 or 4 bashed garlic cloves, a few sprigs of basil, any other herbs you have like flat leaf parsley, rosemary, oregano or thyme. Make a brine by dissolving a tablespoon sea salt in 1 litre filtered water then pour it over the tomatoes. Leave an inch or so headspace to stop the brine overflowing. I covered mine with a big grape leaf from my garden but nasturtium leaves also work well or a large lettuce leaf or cabbage leaf. The idea is to keep the tomatoes submerged in the brine. You can also use a ziplock bag then fill it with water to keep everything weighed down.
Put the lid on loosely and leave it to ferment for 4 or 5 days, at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. You should see bubbles after a few days indicating that fermentation is proceeding normally.
After 4 or 5 days you should have delicious probiotic flavoursome tomatoes with a gentle fizz when you eat them.
Transfer to the fridge and enjoy!
So at my workshop last week, we sampled all sorts of delicious fermented summer treats and this awesome fermented salsa was a big hit! Although so was everything else, but I'm focusing on tomatoes today, so here is the recipe, adapted from my favourite book The Cultured Club by Dearbhla Reynolds!
(Makes 1 litre jar)
This salsa just tastes alive, so delicious and the fermentation adds a lovely sour tang. This is a great way of using up tomatoes and who doesn’t love salsa with tortilla chips! Or on a slice of sourdough with avocado as a probiotic bruschetta! To be honest this tastes amazing as it is, so if you don’t have time to ferment it then you can still enjoy all the amazing flavours, you just won’t have any probiotics! It’s a fast ferment, only 3 to 5 days so not that long to wait!! Alternatively, just add a clove of fermented garlic, job done!
Oh and keep any remaining brine in a wee jar in the fridge, you can add a tablespoon to some mashed avocado for fermented guacamole or pour it over your salad with some of your favourite oil! My current favourite is avocado and walnut oil!!
This is so easy. Simply mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, then pack into a clean 1 litre jar, leaving 2.5cm headspace at the top. Pack it in tightly to expel any air and bring juices to the surface. You can omit the chilli or add more depending on how hot you like it! I'm a chilli wimp so only add a wee pinch of chilli flakes.
Close the lid and allow to ferment at room temp for 3 to 5 days. Taste it after 3 days, it should have a wee fermenty fizz and zing. You can leave it for another day or so, if the flavour isn't to your liking, but don't leave it much longer or you can end up with an alcoholic tasting salsa, which isn't very nice!!
Put a bowl underneath it to catch any escaping juices. Transfer to the fridge, it will keep for around 6 months but it will be long gone by then!
🍃 Health educator🍃