June 27, 2015

Fermented Pickles

A little more detail about those pickles in Monday's post...

I prefer fermented pickles to vinegar pickles any day of the week. This summer I have a really great batch going. It's pretty simple to do. I learned from Sandor Katz, both in person and from his book Wild Fermentation (I really recommend it). I make my pickles in a half gallon mason jar with a jam jar inserted in the top to hold down the vegetables. You can also buy various kinds of ceramic pickle weights but for my set up the mason jars work great. 

I start with a salt water brine (use filtered water if you can), freshly picked cucumbers (blossom ends trimmed off) and green beans from the garden, garlic from the store, and a few grape leaves from the wild vines out back (helps keep things crisp). I clean all that, put it in the crock with the brine, cover it and let it sit on the kitchen counter for a few days. It usually takes about 4 days to get going at which point I put it in the fridge to slow down fermentation. Now that my brine is filled with microorganisms a fresh batch of cucumbers only takes a day and a half to 2 days (my kitchen is at about 80 degrees) to ferment before I put it away. Soooo good. I make sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickled carrots in the fall the same way.

Read Sandor's book and give fermentation a try. I bet you'll be addicted too.

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