Organic Kefir Whey Pickle
Recipe by Rachel De’Thample – Author and fermentation expert, currently teaching at River Cottage.
Whey offers a delicious creamy tang on par with buttermilk and makes a wonderful base for fermented pickles. Simply swap whey for water in a traditional lacto-fermented pickle and that extra acidity with give you the most delicious complexity.
- 250-300g seasonal veg
- A pinch of herbs and/or spices (optional)
- 250ml whey (or a mix of water and whey)
- 2 tsp (or 10g) sea salt
- A handful fresh bay leaves or other food-safe leaves
Bundle enough seasonal veggies (or fruits – slices of pear are delicious!) to fill 1 x 500g (or two smaller jars) clean glass jar allowing 2-3cm headspace. Tuck in some herbs and/or spices for added flavour – thyme sprigs, rosemary, fennel seeds or even a cinnamon stick are lovely additions.
Cover the veg with an overlapping tapestry of bay leaves or any other food safe leaves like beetroot tops if your pickle features beetroot, oak leaves or grape vine leaves. This helps hold the pickle under the brine (but best to put in place before you add the brine, or it can get a little messy).
Whisk the salt into the whey (or a mix of whey and water if you’re short on whey). Pour the brine over the veg and leaf cap, filling the jar right to the very top.
Secure the jar with a lid, set on a plate which can catch any bubbling over juices and leave it at room temperature to ferment for 2 weeks. After this time you can eat it straight away (store in the fridge once opened) or keep it at room temperature (in a cool, dark place) for up to 1 year.
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