We're all about making healthy foods accessible to everyone. Having little tricks & condiments on hand when life gets busy and time is scarce. It's no secret that we love adding fermented foods and pickles into meals ... it's one of the best ways to aid digestion & boost healthy bacteria in the body. We've already shared a few fermented recipes on the blog, but this one is definitely our best yet. The broccoli has an amazing, crunchy texture after a week of fermentation, as well as tasting so good!
Unlike some ferments, this is pretty simple and quick to prepare. We recommend using good quality salt (either himalayan or sea salt) & buying organic broccoli if it's available to you. Heads up, Aldi now sell organic broccoli for 80p, so it's really affordable to make!
Vegetable to salt ratio - the magic formula for ferments
After a lot of experimenting, we've reached a good understanding of the salt/vegetable ratio for pickles and ferments. As a general rule of thumb, we always weigh our vegetables, then add 1.75% of this weight in salt. For example, 1kg of broccoli will need roughly 17.5g of salt. 500g of broccoli will need roughly 8.75g of salt. This formula can be applied to other ferments and pickles, such as sauerkraut & kimchi. So far, it hasn't failed us!
To make 1 large jar you'll need:
1 large jar, sterilised with boiling water
500g Organic Broccoli, chopped into strips (including the stalk!)
8.75g good quality salt (1 & 3/4 teaspoons)
5 whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Optional flavourings: 1 whole garlic clove, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients so that the salt is thoroughly mixed with the broccoli. If you have time, leave it for 15 minutes - this will help draw the moisture out of the broccoli.
2.Add all the ingredients to your sterilised jar, pushing down as you go so that no air is trapped in the bottom of the jar. Keep pushing down as you add more broccoli (the back of a wooden spoon is helpful for this). The idea is to pack everything really tightly into the jar.
3. Once you've added all the broccoli to the jar, top up with clean water. Cover the jar with a piece of cloth, or loosely place the lid on top.
4.Now it's time to let the broccoli ferment! Around 7-10 days is the perfect amount of time. Everyday, check on your jar and firmly push down the broccoli with the back of a wooden spoon. You should see air bubbles rise from the bottom of the jar. The pieces of broccoli need to remain submerged in liquid, so if you find it gets too dry, add a little extra water.
5. After around 5-7 days, taste the broccoli to see if it suits your taste buds. If your ferment tastes really salty, leave it for a few extra days to let the flavours mellow.
6.Once your satisfied with your flavour, secure the jar with a tight lid and store in the fridge. It's now ready to be eaten and shared and should last for months if sealed well.