For insanely delicious vegetables, you need to infuse them with spicy, sweet, and savoury notes from the inside out, so there are no bland interiors,” says Michael Solomonov, the award-winning executive chef at and co-owner of Zahav in Philadelphia and the co-author of the recent cookbook Israeli Soul. That’s where brining comes in, he says. It imbues your veggies with ﬂavour and tenderises the inside, while the salt or sugar in the mixture makes the outside crisp when you cook them. For a bold Middle Eastern spin, try Michael’s signature shawarma brine: In a large pot, mix together 2 litres of water, 4 tablespoons kosher salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, ½ teaspoon turmeric, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon baharat (a spice mixture). Warm over medium heat, whisking, until the salt dissolves fully. Let cool. Brine cauliﬂower in the mixture for 2 hours at room temperature. Remove, shake off liquid, and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush cauliﬂower with 2 tablespoons olive oil and roast at 230 deg C for 45 minutes or until browned and tender.
Brining veggies boosts their prebiotic and probiotic power, which is good for your gut.
MAKE YOUR OWN BRINE
Heat ½ teaspoon each of the spices in 2 litres of water with 4 tablespoons kosher salt and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let brine cool, then soak vegetables for 2 hours at room temperature before cooking.
TEXT MARA SANTILLI PHOTOS 123RF.COM