Fall Fermented Vegetables
It’s been a long, hot summer of tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and cucumbers. When the evenings turn cool, a hint of fall is in the air and in the garden. Many of the fall crops are often stored live in a root cellar instead of being fermented. However, fermenting them brings a new flavor and texture to typically dense, rich produce. Here are some ideas for fermenting those fall veggies:
Carrots can be stored “live” for winter by either leaving them in the ground and mulching over or storing them in a bucket with layers of sand. For fermentation, carrots are often added to other ferments to add flavor and color. They can also stand alone in recipes such as:
Turnips and Parsnips
Turnips aren’t as popular in North America, but they are a fantastic winter-keeping root crop of the same family as the radish. Parsnips are longer and more mild. Both are stored similarly to carrots. To ferment them, try:
Kale and collards are both members of the brassica family. Cousins of the cabbage, they can be used similarly in a ferment. Spinach and lettuce can also be preserved by fermentation.
Beets, with their earthy sweetness, are delicious when fermented. Because of their high sugar content, however, it is usually better to ferment beets along with another vegetable, make kvass out of them, or leave them in chunks rather than shreds.
Cabbage is the quintessential fall ferment. It is often the first vegetable ferment people try making at home. Nothing compares to real, homemade, sauerkraut.
This vegetable is growing in popularity. Fermented cauliflower softens some, but still retains firmness. It can handle a long fermentation time, developing more tang and a bit of spice.