Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I have been learning about the benefits of naturally fermented foods recently. One food that can be fermented is a cucumber. They are referred to as lacto-fermented pickles. I was inspired by a recipe at Healthy Green Kitchen. She credits Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon with the recipe. This is interesting because that cook book has been popping up everywhere in my reading lately. I just ordered a copy, and I'm sure that I'll be talking about it more once it arrives. We started the pickles on Saturday and opened them up yesterday. I highly recommend them. They are crisp, fresh, sour and garlicky with a light dill flavor. Best of all, they are super easy. Here is my take on the pickles:
4-5 kirby cucumbers, washed and sliced in half
5 garlic scapes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 T dried dill
1 T sea salt
1 cup filtered water
very clean 1 or 2 qt. wide-mouth mason jar with screw-top lid (run through the dishwasher before using to ensure it is sterilized, if you have one)
Place cucumbers, garlic scapes and dill into 1-2 jars. Mix salt and water in a measuring cup and add to the jar. Add additional water to completely cover the cucumbers and scapes. Make sure the liquid is about 1 inch below the top of the jar. Screw the top on the jar tightly and allow to sit at room temperature for three days.
Healthy Green Kitchen says, "After this time, go ahead and open the jar. The liquid should be pretty fizzy, which means the lacto-fermentation was successful. If there is any type of “off smell”, discard and start again (I’m mentioning this as a caution, but also want to mention that I have been lacto-fermenting for years, and I have never had anything go wrong)."
Once opened, move your jar to the refrigerator for storage. Lacto-fermentation will continue in the colder temperature, but at a much slower rate, and the garlic scapes should mellow a bit over time.