I’ve recently been studying up more on fermentation. I am learning all about the benefits of fermented foods in my diet. I’ve made kimchi in the past, and enjoyed it, but I didn’t really realize how good it is for you! I started to delve more in to fermentation when I ended up with excess vegetables in my CSA. I didn’t want to risk wasting vegetables that I may not use, so I looked for ways to prolong their life.
I considered canning my vegetables, but I don’t have the patience to deal with the whole jar sterilization and cooking process. Maybe one day.
I learned that fermentation can be very easy, and doesn’t require as many tools as canning. It’s also far less precise than the canning process.
I then learned about the health benefits . Fermented foods are said to aid in digestion, creating a natural probiotic that helps balance your gut. As food ferments, the foods becomes enriched with good enzymes and vitamins. I kept reading, and as I did, I knew I had to give it a try.
I began my summer ferments with some radishes. I had a large amount of beautiful organic radishes from my co-op share and I knew that they wouldn’t all get eaten in salads. I decided that I’d ferment them using a simple 2% brine base.
I began by cleaning and trimming these beautiful radishes. Then, I sliced them thinly.
I washed my jars well and packed the jars with garlic, dill, my sliced radishes and some peppercorns. I then added some of the liquid brine and sealed the Bell jars and set them aside in a warm, dark corner.
I checked on them every few days to see how they tasted and to make sure that the radishes were still under the liquid brine, pressing them down if they began to pop out.
I kept them in my dark corner of the counter for 2 weeks, at which time, I determined by tasting them, that the radishes were ready and then placed them in my fridge.
They were done and ready to be used. I highly recommend this simple ferment if you are a beginner at fermenting.
- 2 bunches of radishes
- ½ cup fresh dill
- 6-8 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp. peppercorns
- 4 cups filtered water
- 2¾ tbsp sea salt
- Heat up the water in a pot and add the salt. Let the salt dissolve.
- Remove water from heat and let cool completely.
- Wash, trim and slice radishes thinly.
- Pack the radish slices along with the garlic and dill in to the glass jars. There should be a 1-inch clearance between the tops of the radishes and the lid.
- Pour the brine over the radish mixture so that the liquid covers the radishes
- Some people like to add a weight or a cabbage leaf on top to ensure that the radishes are completed submerged in the brine mixture. You will have some brine leftover.
- Seal the lids tightly.
- Place jars in a warm and dark space for up to 2 weeks.
- Check on the jars ever 1-2 days, burping the jars and resealing them. This is also the time where you take a taste and see if the radish pickles are sour enough.
- When the radishes have reached the desired sourness, move the jars to the fridge.