Fermented Onions

Fermented onions are pickled onions funky cousin. They are much easier to make than the traditional pickled onion and taste amazing. And as an added bonus, like all fermented vegetables, they are incredibly good for you! I use these beautiful, tangy onions on loads of dishes, from dals to tacos. How will you use yours? Liz x

A quick video tutorial for you.

Ingredients

  • onions (a mix of red and white or just one or the other)
  • natural salt
  • optional herbs/spices (eg bay leaf, peppercorns, coriander and mustard seeds, juniper berries, thyme, rosemary, chilli… anything you like)
  • a cabbage leaf (or something similar)

Method

Gather your ingredients and a clean jar, knife, measuring jug, measuring spoons and chopping board. There is no need to sterilise, but do make sure everything you are working with is nice and clean and well rinsed.

Make a basic brine in your measuring jug and put it aside to fully dissolve while you prepare the jar of vegetables. ***The basic brine recipe is 1.5 tbsp salt dissolved in 1 litre of water.*** If you are making just a small jar then halve or quarter the recipe.

Add a pinch of whatever pickling spices or herbs you’d like to flavour your pickled onions with to the jar.

Then peel and slice your onions and add them to the jar. Red onions, or a mix of red and white, will give you beautiful, bright pink fermented onions. Plain white are delicious too of course. Leave about an inch of head room in the jar.

Then pour the brine into the jar ensuring you cover the onions when they are pressed down, but still leave a little head space in the jar.

Pin the chopped onions down under the brine with the cabbage leaf. You may need to break it to size. Try and tuck it neatly under the shoulders of the jar so that everything is safely tucked under brine. Any floating bits of onion will be exposed to air and are at risk of going mouldy so tuck them under the cabbage leaf ‘follower’.

Add a weight on top of the cabbage leaf if it looks like it will float up over the brine. This needs to be something that is not corrosive when in contact with salt and water. Glass is ideal in this situation so a smaller jar or a glass ramekin is perfect. Otherwise you can buy specialist glass weights for this purpose.

Place the lid loosely on the jar to allow gases to escape during fermentation. If your lid does not fit over the weight, then cover the jar with a tea towel and secure it with string/elastic.

Put the jar in a bowl or on a tray on a shelf for one week to ferment at room temperature. It’s best not in direct sunlight as that would cause too many fluctuations in temperature.

Taste the onions after 1 week. They should taste vinegary and delicious, a lot like pickled onions. If you are happy with the flavour, remove the weight and follower and keep the jar in the fridge. Otherwise let it carry on fermenting at room temperature until you are happy with the flavour.

The onions should last for a long time in the fridge, at least a month but usually much much longer. Just keep an eye on them and no double dipping! Enjoy!

Jay and Joy Vegan Cheeses

Have you tried the Jay and Joy range of vegan cheeses we sell yet? They are absolute game changers. There’s no doubt that there are some dodgy tasting plant based cheeses out there, but these are the real deal. We love that they use recognisable, all organic ingredients. We love that they are made using ancestral French cheese-making techniques. But most of all we love the flavour. Here are some serving suggestions to inspire you to make the most out of these delectable little boxes of cheese. Let us know your favourite way of eating them in the comments or over on our facebook group. We are always looking for new ways to enjoy our carefully curated organic products.

Liz x

*as always, words in bold are clickable links to our shop so you can easily add the ingredients to your usual order


Goat Cheese, Blood Orange, Red Onion, Black Olive

Method (serves 2)

Arrange some washed fresh lettuce leaves in two bowls.

Trim off the skin of 1 blood orange and add juicy slices of it to each bowl.

Peel and thinly slice quarter of a red onion and add a few circles to each bowl.

Add a handful of halved salty black olives to each bowl.

Add four slices or so of Jay and Joy Goats Cheese to each bowl.

Drizzle everything with our excellent extra virgin olive oil and a crack of black pepper.

Simple as that! The sweet tang of the oranges contrasts the olive oil, salty cheese and olives perfectly. Every mouthful a delight.


Celeriac Steaks, Kale, Blue Cheese, Pear, Walnut

Method (serves 2)

Slice 4 steaks out of the middle of a celeriac – about 1cm thickness each. Then trim off the skin and knobbly roots of each slice. (Reserve the leftover ends of the celeriac for soups/stews/risottos…)

Melt a tbsp of plant based butter with a tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat.

Then add the celeriac steaks and season them with a pinch of salt and some cracked black pepper. Fry on both sides until golden brown and tender – this takes about 10-15 minutes.

Keep the steaks warm, propped up in one side of the pan then add lots of rinsed and chopped kale to the pan. Stir fry to wilt for 3 minutes or so then taste and season if necessary (there may be enough seasoning already in the pan from the celeriac steaks and butter/oil).

Divide the cooked kale onto two warm plates, top with the celeriac steaks and then quickly toast two generous handfuls of walnuts in the now empty frying pan.

Add a sliced pear to each plate, the toasted walnuts and finish with little slices of Jay and Joy Blue Cheese.

The balance of sweet pear, buttery celeriac, crunchy nuts and salty blue cheese is absolutely gorgeous. I hope you really enjoy it!


Baked Brie, Caramelised Red Onion & Thyme Toast

Method (serves 2)

Melt a generous tbsp of plant based butter and a tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan.

Add one peeled and sliced red onion and a pinch of salt and fry on medium for about 10 minutes or until it starts to collapse and caramelise.

Add four peeled and chopped cloves of garlic and fry for another 5 minutes or so.

Then to help the caramelisation, add a tsp of brown sugar and season with some black pepper and a tsp of fresh thyme leaves. Fry for another minute or so to bring the flavours together.

Meanwhile cut and toast two slices of sourdough bread.

Put the toast in a baking dish, divide the caramelised onion between the two slices and top with slices of Jay and Joy Brie.

Drizzle with a little olive oil and put the baking dish in a hot oven or under the grill for a few minutes. This vegan brie does not melt like regular brie, but warming it up really brings the dish together.

Scatter with a few more fresh thyme leaves and enjoy! Crunchy toast, sweet caramelised onion, creamy cheese and fragrant thyme…so good!