Pickling Naturally : Garlic Dill Fermented Carrots are love at first bite. Having a stash of these stored for winter means you have gut healthy veggies at your fingertips for quick snacks, lunches, appetizer trays and salads.
There’s a buzz in the air about this years bumper crop of carrots and people are wondering how to store them. They store well refrigerated for a few months, or packed in a bucket of sand, totally covered and kept in a cool dry place. Homemade soups made with carrots, stored in glass jars and frozen are a great place to store carrots too. But what about pickling them? At first the idea of pickling carrots didn’t excite me. I thought they might be boring and maybe not as delicious as the other ferments I’ve made. I was SO wrong. We had a bumper crop of carrots ourselves, (checkout our monster carrots)…
so I got busy making these and oh.my.goodness!! They are unbelievably good. The grands surprised me once again by loving these, just like they love my fermented green beans. This is an easy ferment. If you’ve never tried your hand at fermenting, this is a good one to start with. Before you start though, read the helpful tips way down at the bottom of the post. For starters, here’s a list of ingredients to get you going.
Pick up some pickle pebbles from Amazon. They help keep the veggies under the brine protecting vegetables from air exposure.
Cut the carrots in lengths that allow for 1 1/4 inch of headroom once packed. I cut mine in 3-3 1/4 inch lengths. How thick they are isn’t as important and will vary.
Pack the carrots in tight. It helps to set the skinnier sticks aside to use at the end. They squeeze into the tiny gaps remaining making for a good dense pack of carrots.
Make a solution of 1 teaspoon of Redmond’s Real Salt and 1/2 cup filtered water and whisk until salt is dissolved. Pour solution over carrots until covered. If more water is needed to cover sufficiently add more filtered water. Leave enough headroom for a pickle pebble to weight the carrots. Cover loosely with a BPA free plastic lid. In these pics I included a cabbage leaf “shelf” before placing the weight on top, but it’s not necessary and Ive done batches without.
Now your best ingredient is TIME. Set them in a cabinet (away from sunlight) on a plate to catch any bubbling over. On day 3 you’ll notice the brine getting cloudy. That’s normal. Taste on day 7 to see if they’re the right salt, sour balance. If not, return to cabinet and give it a few more days. We loved ours on day 10 but every batch is different, depending on temperature and other factors. Make sure carrots remain under the brine throughout fermentation.
If you make these please share. My readers want to hear about your fermenting experiences! It helps encourage others to give it a try.
In other news, a friend brought to my attention that some of my posts print button wasn’t working correctly. As it turns out it was an easy fix and all is back in working order now.
Fall cooking classes were a great success because some of my fav peeps returned and brought with them new friends. So fun! Nothing like a full table of great people sharing good food. I’ve got other classes brewing so stay tuned!
Until next time,
Pickling Naturally : Garlic Dill Fermented Carrots (makes 1 pint)
1 clean wide mouth pint size mason jar
1 BPA free plastic lid
1 -2 organic carrots, peeled, cut in 3 1/4 inch long sticks by 1/4-1/2 inch thick (about 12 oz)
1 teaspoon sea salt or real salt
1 dill head
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup filtered water
Directions: Place the smashed garlic and dill on the bottom of a pint-sized wide mouth mason jar. Stand carrots upright in jar, packing them in tight. Save the thinner carrot sticks last in order to squeeze them into what tiny cracks remain.
In a 1 cup glass measuring cup, whisk together salt and filtered water until salt is dissolved. Pour brine over carrots, ensuring there is a thin layer of brine covering carrots. Place a clean pickle pebble weight over carrots and cap loosely with a BPA free plastic lid.
Place jar (s) on a small plate and put in a place away from sunlight where the temperature is between 65 – 78 degrees for 1 – 2 weeks.
We liked ours at exactly 10 days. So good!
Once you’re happy with the flavor and acidity of the carrots, remove the weight, put the lid back on, and stick them in the fridge. They keep well for up to 6 months refrigerated.
A few tips about pickling…
* Use unblemished, cleaned organically grown vegetables. Trim off soft and discolored spots.
* Use unrefined sea salt or Kosher salt. Refined table salt has additives and is too fine and can turn out a saltier pickle.
* The chlorine in water can inhibit good bacteria from forming, that’s why filtered water is recommended.
* It’s critical to keep your veggies under the brine and for many years I only used a cabbage leaf to accomplish this. But I’ve gotten into the habit of using pickle pebbles with the addition of a cabbage leaf. I like the extra assurance it gives me that the veggies remain safely under the brine. Link for pickle pebbles is above in recipe. They are a great affordable option!
* Metal lids react to the fermentation process. You can purchase plastic lids for Mason jars where they sell canning supplies, or on amazon.com. If you don’t want to go out and buy lids just create a barrier from the metal with parchment or cheesecloth.
* Speaking of lids, make sure you screw your lid on loosely to allow the brew to breathe. Starting at day 2 they start to bubble up and may “weep” so a reminder to place your jars on a dish to catch the overflow.
* It’s a good idea to mark the beginning date on your jars. If your life is as busy as mine, it’s easy to lose track of time.
* It’s normal for the brine to get cloudy on day 2 or 3.
* Once they have reached the desired flavor, remove cabbage leaf cover, discard, and refrigerate. The salt keeps them preserved for a long time when refrigerated.
* Daikon radish, celery root, cauliflower, carrots, red radishes, beets, kohlrabi, turnips and celery all are delicious pickled this way. I like to add fresh garlic for flavor too but experiment and make it your own.