Cherry Blossom (Cauliflower) Kvass

I recently had lunch at my favourite eatery and ordered the fermented cauliflower. To my surprise, the cauliflower was pink! It was so gorgeous (and flavourful) I had to talk to the chef about it. It turns out this colourful culture was inspired by the beauty of cherry blossom season. 

For those of us lucky enough to be surrounded by cherry blossoms, you know they are a sight to behold. While the blooming process is extraordinary, it’s also quite short… 

The significance of the cherry blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years. In their country, the cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life. It’s a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short.
— Homaro Cantu


I was so enamoured by the dish, and those lovely blossoms, I had to create my own recipe. The trick is to marinate the cauliflower in beet kvass—a fermented beverage loaded with phytonutrients. This not only infuses the cauliflower with gut-friendly bacteria, but its rich pigment turns the florets the most perfect shade of cherry-blossom pink. 

The result is both healthy and stunning. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do… and enjoy cherry blossom season a little longer! 

Cherry Blossom (Cauliflower) Kvass

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 3 garlic cloves  
  • 2 large beets, small dice
  • ½ small onion, small dice
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

Equipment

  • 1-litre Mason jar

Directions

For the Kvass:
Create a brine by combining the water and salt. Set aside. 
Release the flavour of the garlic by crushing each clove with the flat side of your knife. 
Layer the garlic, beets and onion in the Mason jar. Fill the jar with the brine, leaving one inch of space at the top of the jar. 


Place the lid on tightly and let it ferment at room temperature, about 70-85° F (21-20° C), for 10 days. Turn the jar upside down every day for the first week until the gas builds up enough to keep the floating vegetables covered.


After 10 days, the beet mixture (or kvass) can be strained out. Notice the rich deep purple colour!

For the Cauliflower:


Clean the jar and pour in the kvass. Add the cauliflower. 
Put the lid on and let it sit on the counter for 2 days and then refrigerate. 
Once cool, serve as a side dish or use in rice bowls and salads. 

Note: If you already have kvass, skip the “For the Kvass” section and go straight to the Cauliflower instructions.