I know some of you have been eagerly waiting for this recipe! The process of Pickling Naturally : Fermented Beets with Cumin and Basil tempers beets natural sweetness, adds a pungent flavor enhanced by spices, herbs and natural earthiness. We’ve been diving into these jars enjoying the mix of complex flavors that blend so beautifully together.
Who would’ve guessed we’d become a family of beet lovers? Not me.
This little one chomped down a whole raw beet in the backseat of the van unbeknownst to her mama who was merrily driving home with a haul from our garden. The missing beet mystery was uncovered when dinner prep began and my grand daughter confessed she had eaten it.
We planted beets on repeat all summer long. Sometimes we replant because we want to make the most out of a good growing season. Not this year. Our beets struggled to sprout. Once a row of veggies was consumed in our garden I replanted beets again. Finally we reaped enough for meals and pickles.
It’s a good thing. Our son and his family have been living with us all summer while their home was getting remodeled. They love beets too.
I was happy to discover this ferment recipe in the informative cookbook Ferment your Vegetables.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Pickle Pebbles (or similar products like it) keep those veggies submerged under the brine. For years I did ferments without them but now they’re a must have. If this is your first time doing the lacto-fermentation method of pickling check out my post Kohrabi Dill Pickles for more tips on pickling. There are key points you should know about the process and you will find them there.
Cover veggie ferments with a BPA free lid…loosely, and set in a warm place in your kitchen away from sunlight. I like to put mine on a plate to catch any overflow once they start fermenting.
Like other ferments, they get bubbly and cloudy 3 days in. The golden beets unfortunately lose some of their brilliant color. I have to interject my opinion here…red beets, pickled or not have more going for them in the flavor department.
You don’t need the fresh basil until after the fermentation process is finished. When the pickled flavor is to your liking, remove pickle pebbles and tuck fresh basil leaves into brine. Basil compliments beets big time so don’t skip this step. Refrigerate for 3 days, then discard basil. Clean up the glass weights and store them until the next time you need them. Once fermenting is complete there’s no need for them.
These are delicious on salads, in an appetizer tray with various olives and cheeses and nuts, in wraps and sandwiches or as a condiment to any meal.
Local farms are brimming with fresh beets right now. Give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it!
Stay tuned for fall cooking class news!
Fermented Beets with Cumin and Basil (makes 2 pints)
2 clean wide mouth pint jars
4 or 5 small beets (1 pound) I used a combination of red and gold beets
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seed
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 cups filtered water (not tap water)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (you will need these after they’re done fermenting)
Slice beets into 1/4 inch slices.
Divide the cumin seeds equally and place on the bottom of each jar.
Stack sliced beets in each pint jar. Leave an inch and a half headroom at the top.
I made one jar with only gold beets and one with only red.
In a small measuring cup, whisk together the salt and filtered water until salt is dissolved and pour salt water over the beets.
Submerge your veggies with a pickle pebble to keep them safely under the brine. Cap with a BPA free plastic lid.
Place jars on a small plate and put in a place away from sunlight where the temperature is between 65 – 78 degrees for 1 – 2 weeks.
Once you’re happy with the flavor and acidity, remove the weights and pack basil in each jar. Replace the lid and refrigerate. After 2 days remove the basil (or it will spoil). These last up to 3 months refrigerated.
Serve on a pickle plate as condiments to a meal, on an appetizer tray, on salads wraps and sandwiches.