People have been fermenting different foods for thousands of years, and though we can purchase many popular ones (like kombucha and kimchi) in stores, there’s a simple art to the process of fermentation that means you can certainly start fermenting your own foods at home (and the truth is you can ferment just about any veggie).
This simple how-to comes from Analiese Gregory’s new book How Wild Things Are, which shares her experiences with hunting, fishing, cooking, and foraging—slow food—on the island of Tasmania off of the southeast coast of Australia.
“These mushrooms are one of my favorite finds from those moments where you look at a vegetable and think ‘I wonder if…'” she writes. “The fermentation makes them soft, salty, and delicious.” Though there are actually four types of fermentation, this recipe uses basic lacto fermentation for brining, which is “best used on whole, smaller vegetables,” explains Gregory.
Lactic acid fermentation is a process by which yeasts and bacteria convert starches and sugars into lactic acid, and it’s the type of fermentation used to make everything from kombucha to kimchi to sourdough. It, like other forms of fermentation, leads to the production of probiotics—the good bacteria that support our gut health.
All you need for this recipe is salt, water, mushrooms, a vessel, and a little bit of time (about five days).