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Restore by Gizzi Erskine

Pracitical. Sustainable. Delicious.

In her own words, food writer Gizzi Erskine wants to "show you that it is possible to get into the world of fermenting and preserving in a practical and realistic way, with delicious results". 


"The motivation for me writing this book was the enormous impact food production, and how we trade and transport produce, has on the health of our planet", she says on the story behind her book Restore, where she was inspired to learn more about fermenting. "The most magical thing for me is that fermenting stems from the basic need, before the world of refrigeration, to preserve food and make it safe to eat. The modern Western diet, typically high in fat and sugar, attacks the delicate balance of essential microbiotia in our digestive system which means our guts are seriously deficient in bacterial diversity. Fermented foods can restore this diversity."


Taken from the pages of Restore, we've selected two delicious recipes that are made with sustainable eating in mind. Just in time for Zero Waste Week, you'll discover how good food doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Gizzi Erskine (left) shot by Benny Robinson

Cheats' Activated Kimchi

"I've been making kimchi for years, the recipe for which I've already posted online, but when I made the gochujang (opposite) I was playing around with things to do with it. The fact that the gochujang is full oflive bacteria means that it starts the process of fermentation really quickly and you will have decent kimchi within a day or two rather than a few weeks. This kimchi is also vegan." - Gizzi


Makes enough to fill a 3-litre preserving

50g salt

300ml water

2 heads of Chinese napa cabbage, outer leaves removed, cabbages quartered lengthways

300g Accelerated Gochujang

80g fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks

6 spring onions, julienned into 4mm­ thick strips

2 apples, cut into thin matchsticks (with skin intact)



Begin by giving the cabbage a quick brine. To make the brine simply dissolve the salt in the 300ml of water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Pour it into a non-reactive container which the cabbage will fit into. Once the water has completely cooled, add the cabbage, pour over enough cold water on top to ensure the cabbage is submerged, and allow to brine for a minimum of 1 hour.


Once the time has passed, remove the cabbage from the brine and dry it thoroughly. You'll need to get in between every leaf to make sure it's as dry as possible. (Over the course of fermentation the cabbage will release lots ofliquid and you don't want the flavour to become too diluted, so it's good to eradicate as much water at the start as you can.)


Wash the non-reactive container you brined the cabbage in and dry it very thoroughly.


Add the gochujang, followed by the ginger, spring onions and apples. You'll want to wear gloves for this next part of the process: once you've donned your gloves, use your hands to mix the ginger, spring onion and apples thoroughly with the gochujang until combined. Take your dried cabbage quarters and spread a little of the gochujang marinade between each cabbage leaf so that it is really well rubbed into the cabbage.


Wrap each cabbage quarter around itself to create a tight parcel and wedge into a sterilised 3-litre preserving jar. It will start fermenting pretty much immediately, and you'll be able to tell by the level ofliquid that leaches out of the cabbage that it's starting to ferment.


Within two days, it's good to go, or you can store it in the fridge. It will deepen in flavour the longer it ferments.

Lemon and Lime Pickle

"What makes this a good saviour of the fruit basket is that so often with baking you need more citrus zest than juice. I often end up with some sorry-looking limes and lemons in my basket. Zested lime and unwaxed thin-skinned lemons make brilliant Indian pickle, as the zest of the types of limes and lemons available in this country can be a bit too intense and make a bitter pickle. I like using Kashmiri chilli powder to get that deep red colour and a more rounded and sweet flavour, but you can use a bog standard one too. This is an excellent condiment with any curry, such as my Sri Lankan Beetroot and Coconut Curr." - Gizzi


Makes 1kg

1kg zested limes and/or thin-skinned lemons, cut into eighths, pith removed

120ml sunflower or organic rapeseed oil

30 fresh curry leaves

2 tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp fenugreek seeds

2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

4 green finger chillies, sliced into thirds at an angle

1cm piece of fresh turmeric, peeled and grated

tsp ground turmeric

35g sea salt

½ tsp fenugreek seeds

1 tbsp golden caster sugar

3 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder



First, steam the limes. If you don't have a steamer, you can make one by simply bringing a saucepan of water to a rolling simmer over a medium heat, putting a colander or sieve on top, then covering the colander or sieve with a saucepan lid to keep the steam in. Sit a batch oflime and/or lemon pieces in one layer in the steamer and steam for 8-10 minutes, until tender. Remove and set aside and steam the remaining lime/lemon pieces.


Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the curry leaves, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. As soon as they start to crackle, add the ginger, garlic, green chillies, fresh and ground turmeric, salt, sugar and chilli powder and stir-fry for a couple of minutes to cook the spices, being careful they don't burn as this will make them acrid. Add the steamed limes and/or lemons and stir-fry for another couple of minutes, making sure they are well coated in the spicy oil, then take off the heat. Leave to cool, transfer to a sterilised 1-litre preserving jar and seal tightly.


Allow to ferment at room temperature (out of direct sunlight) for 2-3 weeks before eating. As with all fermenting, the speed at which it happens is temperature dependent (the warmer the environment, the faster it happens), so check that the limes/lemons have softened enough before you eat them. If they are still a bit hard you may want to leave it to ferment for another few days. Once opened, it will keep in the fridge for ages, as long as all the citrus is covered in oil (top up with more oil if necessary).