Cultured Vegetable Medley
3 cups fresh, organic vegetables (try cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, celery)
2 or 3 cloves organic garlic, crushed
1 or 2 small hot peppers (optional)
1 tablespoon organic pickling spice (optional)
1 or 2 sprigs organic dill (optional)
2 grape or bay leaves
1 1/2 to 2 cups chlorine-free filtered water
1 tablespoon sea salt
cabbage leaves to cover
- Wash, trim and chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
- Stir and dissolve the salt into the water.
- Pack the vegetables, garlic, spices (if using) and 1 torn grape or bay leaf tightly into a clean jar. Carefully pour the brine over the vegetables, leaving 1 inch space at the top. Tuck a cabbage leaf over the vegetables to keep them submerged in the brine, then screw a lid onto the jar.
- Set the jar away from direct sunlight in your kitchen, in a place where it will stay room temperature (it’s best between 65 and 80 degrees). Let the vegetables ferment, loosening the jar lids once a day to allow gas to escape and check to ensure that the vegetable are staying submerged in the brine. After 3 days, check to see if they taste sour enough for you…allow them to ferment for up to a week.
- When the vegetables reach the desired flavor, cap them tightly and store them in a cool place (the fridge or a very cool area in the basement or garage). Once they are cool, the fermentation will stop and they’ll keep for up to 8 months.
Makes one quart of vegetables, adjust recipe for the number of quarts you’d like to make. Remember that the time to ferment depends on the temperature and other conditions in your home (like drafts) and your personal preference for how tangy you like your vegetables. You will need to do taste tests with a clean fork to determine when they are fermented to your liking.