Fermented veggies really opened my mind to what cultured foods could and should be. Pickled foods are yummy and have their place on your dinner table or for your parties but fermented/cultured foods are unique, tasty, making a come back, and very nutritious!
I first started with carrots, then cauliflower, radishes, mixes of veg, and my new obsession, jalapeños. Before I get too carried away I will start with carrots. To be honest you can use this recipe for most vegetables.
Helpful Hints: Cutting your veg lengthwise allows the liquid to penetrate the veg more thoroughly. I have also found that it ferments quicker.
You will need:
* 1 pint jar
*3-5 carrots depending on size ( do not use “baby carrots”)
*1-3 cloves garlic
*1 tablespoons salt (Kosher or Himalayan)
*1/2 cup hot or boiling water
*1 1/2 cups cold or room temperature water.
Spice: You can always experiment and have fun trying the following; ginger, red chili pepper flakes, Mexican oregano, dill….
Make sure your Mason jar or pint jar of choice is clean. Add the spices (not the salt) to the bottom of your jar. Cut off the tops of your carrots. You DO NOT need to peel your carrots. Wash well and hopefully you buy local or organic. If you grow your own even better! The carrots should not be weak, bendy, or rubbery. I cut them length wise twice. Stack them longitudinally in your jar. In another bowl mix a half cup of hot water with the salt to dissolve the salt then add cold water to make 2 cups of liquid, this is your brine. Pour the brine slowly over the carrots. Leave a half inch or so of headspace and if the carrots rise to the top of the brine you can add a weight to keep the carrots under the water line. Put a lid on the carrots. I put the whole thing on a plate or flat bowl to catch any brine that releases out of the jar. They should take 7-10 days to ferment/culture. You will see the brine become cloudy. Always taste as you go. I would start to taste around day 5. If it is especially warm (75+) then you may check earlier. If it is exceptionally cooler (60-) then you may wait longer. I always wait 24-48 hours after they are done (to my liking) and I put them in the fridge to taste. It encourages crispness in my opinion.
If you are interested in further information and lists of what to culture and what not to culture as far as vegetables please see Wild Fermentation, Sandor Ellix Katz. He has a wonderful website http://www.wildfermentation.com