Do you fancy yourself a fearless fermenter? Have you made sauerkraut, chutneys and pickles galore? How were your pickles? Were they crisp and delicious? Tell the truth.
One of the most frequent fermentation flops I see are hollow or soft pickles. It’s a shame, because crunchy pickles are a classic, fundamental, and encouraging way to begin your metamorphosis into a confident fermenter.
Here’s a little secret that our ancestral fermenters held as common knowledge. There must be sufficient tannins present during fermentation to yield crisp pickles. This includes ingredients like grape leaves, red wine vinegar, bay leaves, cloves, oak leaves and tea.
This is why I choose to include grape leaves in my pickle fermentations.
Summer is disappearing and so are the vegetables of this sun-kissed season. It’s time to put your cucumbers up as pickles for winter nights when you want to serve your friend charcuterie with crunchy pickles on the side.
Crunchy pickles ingredients
- Water, to cover pickles
- 4-5 mini cucumbers, whole
- 1 scallion
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 frond dill
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 grape leaves*
- 1 ½ tablespoon unrefined sea salt
- 2 dried red chili, optional
Crunchy pickles method
- Lay 1 grape leaf at bottom of jar.
- Add cucumbers to jar vertically so that they are standing on end. They should fit together tightly.
- Fit scallion, garlic, dill, bay leaves and red chili in between cucumbers.
- Add salt on top of cucumbers.
- Place grape leaves over cucumbers like a canopy. The edges of the leaves should be pushed down below the shoulder of the jar.
- Cover entire mixture with water. Take care to leave an inch between the lid and water level.
- Fit lid on firmly but not tight.
- Allow to ferment (out of direct sunlight and in a room temperature environment) for 1-2 weeks.
This post was generously contributed by Monica Ford of Real Food Devotee. Monica’s recipes will make your mouth water and your tummy purr. If you’re lucky enough to live in Los Angeles, Real Food Devotee can make your life easier by delivering nutrient dense goodies directly to your door.
photo credit: An Eye Full Studio