We sat down (i.e. spoke with Gary over social media #socialdistancing) with Gary who agreed to be our FIRST neighbour spotlight. We wanted to highlight the many interesting people in our neighborhood with their food and drink-related hobbies. A good place to start is always with pickles.
Name: Gary Roberts
Originally from: Tadley, Hampshire
Lives now: Barnes Village
Day job: Creative Director/Filmmaker
What is the story behind your fermenting passion? My family has always pickled onions and beetroot since I was a kid. I really got into it after looking at gut health and microbiome of the body and as I’ve always loved to cook, it felt like taking on a home science project.
Has lockdown affected your hobby at all? I think I’m probably doing it slightly less than normal, as I’m spending time on other creative projects. But it’s not long until we’re running low on previous batches and I have to replenish.
What is the most unusual thing you have pickled/fermented? It has to be potatoes.
I’ve begun fermenting them and I got a few raised eyebrow from friends at first, but when they tried them, they loved them! They have a great lactic umami flavour. Plus, it’s the thing I get tagged in most on Instagram that people have seen my recipe and have been inspired to try!
Tell us an easy recipe (your fav) for fermenting? It has to be my Fennel, Leek and Lime Sauerkraut! Great fresh and zingy flavour for Spring/Summer BBQs.
Gary’s Fennel, Leek & Lime Sauerkrout
1 x Cabbage
1 x fennel bulb
1 x Leek
1 x clove of garlic
half a lime (juice and zest)
Cut all veg into thin slices. Weigh the total weight of the veg, and measure out your salt ( 10g salt per pound of veg).
Put the shredded veg into a bowl and then pour half the salt and leave it for 45mins.
When you come back it should have released some water (this will become your natural brine), then crush the veg with your hands, it should squeak (this is a good sign).
Pour over the remaining salt, and leave it for another 45mins.
Then when you return, it should have released even more liquid. Then put it all in a sterilized jar. Leave for 2 weeks, and make sure to burp it daily.
Thank you, Gary, for being our first spotlight. We love your passion and your love for PICKLES!