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Remember how I resolved to try more new things in the kitchen this year? One of my biggies was fermenting more foods because 1) they’re so good for you and 2) they’re delicious. I tried my first round a few weeks ago, and it turned out great. I learned a few things for the next go-around, so I’ll update soon with a new recipe. I loosely based my recipe on curtido (Salvadorian cole slaw or relish).
I did some research originally (mostly reading through this series), and I knew I wanted to let the curtido ferment for at least twenty days to get the maximize benefit from the probiotics. I also did some research on brine versus vinegar ferments and decided to go the brine route because the whole point of this experiment is to eat more healthy bacteria. As mentioned previously, I got some of these for Christmas, which is what I used for my fermenting experiments.
Loosely based on Vanessa Barrington’s version
5-6 of these gorgeous black radishes (that a local farm had on special one week at our co-op – they were so pretty I didn’t want to eat them!), sliced thinly
1 small onion, sliced thinly
1 head small green cabbage, sliced thinly
6-8 leaves of kale, sliced into ribbons (I like to roll of greens like this, and then cut across the roll to form ribbons)
1 jalapeno, sliced thinly
1 tsp dill seed
2 tsp oregano
Sterlized wide-mouth glass jars
I put all of the veggies through my food processor with the slicer attachment, which made this whole project go so much faster. So then I dumped all of the veggies in a big bowl, sprinkling liberally with salt every few “layers,” which helps to draw out the water from the cabbage (and also aids the fermenting process). I just let the vegetables sit for nap time until my little helper woke up (about two hours). I then dumped the contents into three large-mouth mason jars (using my canning funnel made the whole process very easy). I’d fill them up, and then put Jazzy to work pounding them down, then I’d add more veggies, and have him pound them down some more. He was actually quite good at this – he has a future in fermentation perhaps?
After he had firmly packed the jars with veggies to about one inch from the top of the jar, I mixed about two cups of filtered water with two tablespoons of kosher salt (the brine) and poured the brine into the jars enough so that the water came about one-half inch from the top of the jar. Then I assembled my Pickle Pro on top of the lid and secured it tightly. I then put it under the counter out of the way…and let it sit there for about 21 days. I then put them in the refrigerator and added the curtido to all sorts of things: on top of salads, burgers, sausage, tacos, and as a side by itself.
I have a different batch of stuff going right now, so I’ll report back with more recipes as I experiment more.
To read more about the benefits of fermented foods, check out these links: