2 ½ lbs. vegetables of choice
1 ½ Tbs. sea salt
Optional: 2-4 tsp. dried spices & herbs, more if fresh, to taste
Step 1: Gather.
Plan your ingredients and flavors. For this recipe we used green and purple cabbage, kale, carrot and radish. For flavor we added fresh dill, flat leaf parsley, ginger and dried bay leaves. (Not pictured: sterilize the jars you plan to use.)
Step 2: Prep.
Chop, slice or grate your vegetables.
Step: 3: Mix.
Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add the salt and spices, if using. Massage well with your hands for several minutes, about 3-5. This breaks down the cellular structure of the vegetables, helping to release liquids.
Step 4: Tamp.
Begin packing the vegetable mixture into your sterilized jars, tamping down as you fill. Your aim is to release any air pockets and to have your vegetable mixture covered with a good layer of brine. Leave at least an inch of space for expansion at the top.
Step 5: Seal and store.
Stuff a zip-close baggie down into the jar on top of the vegetable/brine mixture. To seal, fold baggie back over the lid of the jar. Place a weight inside the baggie in the jar opening, this can be a smaller jar filled with water or rice. This weight continues to press air out of the jar as the fermentation process takes place.
Store jars in a cool, dark place for about four days. Fermentation time varies widely depending on factors like outside temperature, jar size, types of vegetables and taste. Place jars in a shallow pan as liquids may release out of jars as the fermentation process occurs.
Check your jars daily after the fourth day to see if you have achieved the desired flavor and tang. At this point, remove the weighted jar and baggies and replace with the jar’s matching lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Photos by Monica Schwartz