Accompanying Newsletter: Pickles for Health
I typically serve a little pickle with a meal. Primarily because home made pickles are so delicious, but also because they are a healthy addiction. These pickles are my family’s favorite. They are a simple salt-water fermentation of the kind that our grandmothers used to make. In late summer when cucumbers are in season I pickle cukes. As waxed supermarket cucumbers will not ferment, during the rest of the year, I pickle an assortment of other vegetables.
These pickles take under 10 minutes to prepare. Then set them out at room temperature for about 5 days to ferment. As they culture, the red of the radish turns a pretty pink. Covered and refrigerated, they’ll hold for 6 weeks or more. Enjoy pickled vegetables as they are, or add to salads, sandwiches, dressings and pate.
If you’re new to fermenting and overly concerned that the veggies might spoil, allay your fears with an airlock device.
Makes 3 ½ cups
2 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon dill leaf
1 garlic clove, sliced
3-4 Black pepper corns
Red pepper flakes to taste
1/2 small onion, sliced
4-8 red radishes
1 3/4 cups cauliflower florets
1 3/4 cups sliced carrots
Combine water and sea salt in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and allow to cool.
Place herbs and spices in a wide-mouthed, quart glass jar. Add the onion, radishes, cauliflower and carrots. Cover with brine. Place the jar on a plate to catch any seepage that may occur.
Rest a weight atop the vegetables to keep them submerged (submersion and salt will prevent spoilage). Use a weight that is small enough to nest inside of the jar. This weight may be a clean rock or a water-filled glass bottle, jar or zip-lock baggie. In 5 days they will look “cooked” (not raw), have a mild tang, pleasing aroma and be ready to eat. (Optional: to sour them further, leave out an additional day or two.) Discard any brownish film that forms at the container top. Cover and refrigerate.
Variations: pickle whole cucumbers or small summer squash. Or use other firm vegetables such as turnip, daikon and rutabaga.
May you be well nourished,