Making big batches of fermented vegetables often makes sense. If you’ve got a glut of produce from your garden, then it’s time for some jars of kraut or pickles. If you have a place to store lots of jars for the winter, then making a bunch of fermented vegetables to eat throughout the winter will add lots of enzymes and probiotics, with just one day’s work.
When I’m not motivated by the need to put food by, I can become psychologically intimidated by the thought of hours of chopping, salting, pounding, and fermenting. But, there is another way to approach the subject.
Sometimes, you just want to have some cultured veggies on hand to add nourishment to your meals. In that case, don’t make it bigger than it has to be.
One night I was simmering a pot of vegetable soup. I had a beet and a head of cabbage that needed to be used up soon. There were a few stray carrots along with some garlic and onions sitting out from dinner prep. The cutting board and knife were already out and dirtied from chopping, so why not throw together a batch of fall fermented vegetables?
- 1 head of green cabbage, shredded or chopped
- 1 very large beet, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- sea salt
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Salt to taste. Pound it down for several minutes using a wooden spoon, mallet, or just a clean fist.
- Transfer to a quart or half-gallon jar and pack down veggies. Add some brine (2 tablespoons salt: 1 quart of water) as needed. Alternatively, you can culture in a non-reactive bowl using an open crock method. In either case, keep veggies weighted down under the brine.
A few days later I had a jar of hot pink fall vegetables bubbling away. And all it took was a few minutes of chopping and pounding while dinner cooked.
How do you approach keeping cultured vegetables on hand?