Hands down, fermentation is the most magical, mystical adventure of traditional foods. Whether you start off with homemade sauerkraut, or store-bought kombucha, the ride is full of bubbly, tart wonders that blossom by simply adding a few fresh ingredients to a jar and waiting.
Whether you’re new to the world of cultured foods or a seasoned fermented foodie, I’ve got two great treats for you I’m sure you’ll love – first up, a sour pickle recipe from Jenny at Nourished Kitchen – the goddess of cultured foods. For me, achieving the perfect pickle is a personal goal, and I think this is the recipe to take me to pickle nirvana.
Sour Pickle Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon unrefined sea salt
- About 1 1/2 cups filtered water or more, as needed
- 3 large cucumbers, cut into spears or left whole, as desired
- 2 tablespoons pickling spice (allspice, mustard seed, bay leaf, cloves, etc.)
- Cloves of 1 head of garlic, peeled and crushed
- Starter culture*
- 1 bunch flowering dill, if available
- 1 horseradish leaf, if available
Sour Pickles Method
- Mix salt with warm water and set aside.
- Place cucumbers, pickling spice, garlic cloves, dill and horseradish leaf (if using) into your mason jar, crock or vegetable fermenter.
- Pour in starter culture of choice* and enough salt water to submerge the cucumbers.
- Weigh the cucumbers down, if possible, ensuring that they rest below the brine level.
- Cover loosely with a lid and allow them to ferment at room temperature for seven 7 to 14 days, testing periodically, until the pickles acquire a sourness that appeals to you.
*Options for your starter:
- Fresh whey - Strain fresh whey from yogurt, kefir or clabber. Use 1/2 cup. OR
- Purchased vegetable starter culture – like this one. Dissolve one packet of starter culture one in a half cup warm water. OR
- Extra Salt – Increase salt in the ferment to 2 tablespoons, and omit starter altogether.
Difficulty: Easy | Yields: 1 quart | Time: 5 mins (active), 7 to 10 days (fermentation)
Don’t those pickles look scrumptious? I can just imagine crunching into a tart cold spear with a melty grilled cheese sandwich. Yum!
So, I promised you two treats, and here’s the second – Jenny of Nourished Kitchen is launching Get Cultured! – an online class that will teach you to ferment anything - healthy sodas, yogurts, condiments, sourdough bread, bacon, and more! This sour pickle recipe is actually a sneak peak at one of the great recipes and techniques you will learn in Jenny’s class, and for a limited time, Jenny is offering her class at a reduced price.
I don’t know about you, but fermenting foods can sometimes be a bit intimidating. Is it supposed to smell like that? Is it supposed to make that noise? Why isn’t anything happening? Oh no! [Crack, bang!] Why did that happen?
By enrolling in Nourished Kitchen’s 13-week online class, you’ll get lifetime access to:
- 14 Comprehensive, Multimedia Online Lessons
- 52 Online Video Tutorials Teaching you how to ferment anything from yogurt to ketchup, salad dressings, sauerkraut and more.
- Over 100 Recipes for Naturally Fermented Foods so that you’re always prepared to serve your family natural, enzyme- and vitamin-rich foods.
- Over 60 Print Tutorials that you can go back to time and time again.
- Get Cultured! A 36-page e-book detailing some of my favorite vegetable ferments.
- Regular Conference Calls so you can get your questions answered over the phone with Jenny.
Plus if you use the coupon code SAUERKRAUT you’ll get an additional $50 off.
That means you can Get Cultured! for only $97 – less than $7.50 a class!
Before you know it, you’ll be culturing fresh milk into yogurt and cheese and a nurturing pet sourdough starter of your very own.
This post can be seen at the following blog carnivals: Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Make Your Own! Monday, Monday Mania and Friday Food Flicks. Hop on over to check out some other posts you may enjoy!