Our kohlrabi came up beautifully again. That’s 2 years in a row now and both times we planted from seed. They make delicious lacto-fermented pickles!
We love lacto-fermented veggies! It’s a great way to preserve the harvest while increasing the nutritional benefits from fresh garden produce. The natural fermentation process allows the development of beneficial bacteria and creates a live food that helps regulate digestion and restore proper intestinal flora, just like yogurt or kefir.
Here is what you will need for this recipe; kohlrabi, fresh and organic, high quality sea salt, fresh garlic cloves, fresh dill, filtered water, yellow mustard seeds, red pepper flakes (optional) and 2 – 1 quart wide mouth canning jars with plastic lids.
These turn out crunchy, tangy, salty pickles, reminiscent of the old-fashioned salt brined cucumber dill pickles.
Before venturing into making these please read tips on pickling at the bottom of this post.
2 / 1 quart sterilized canning jars
6-8 medium to large kohlrabi bulbs, trimmed,cleaned and peeled
2 kohlrabi leaves cleaned and set aside
2 tablespoons high quality sea salt (divided)
4 tablespoons fresh chopped dill (divided)
2 tablespoons whole yellow mustard seeds (divided)
4 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed, sliced in half lengthwise (divided)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (divided)
2 -3 cups filtered water (divided)
Wash and peel kohlrabi well.
Sometimes with young kohlrabi peeling is optional because the skin is so tender. Then again, the only way to get around the vegetables discoloration is to peel them. They can be quite gnarly!
Slice bulbs in half, then into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Stack the 1/4 inch discs and slice into 1/4 inch sticks.
Layer kohlrabi, dill and garlic in jar, tamping down gently after each “cycle”. Continue filling your jars until there is a 1 inch space at the top.
Mix together 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 cup of water, mustard seeds,and red pepper flakes (if using), and pour over kohlrabi. Add additional water to cover vegetables. Tuck one clean kohlrabi leaf over contents to keep veggies submerged.
Cover loosely with a plastic lid, set jars on a dish to catch any leaks, and keep out at room temperature (65 70 degrees F) in a dark place for 4-7 days.
Warmer temperatures will make fermentation happen more quickly and cooler temperatures will slow down fermentation time. My summer pickles are ready in 4 days compared to winter at 7 days. After about 3 days taste your pickles. If it’s too salty give it more time and taste it again in 2 days.
When they are done to your liking store in the fridge for up to 6 months. They get better with age!
They are delicious on salads or sandwiches and wraps, as appetizers or condiments along with your meal.
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 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.
* 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, 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.
Stay tuned for further info on a Preserving The Harvest Pickling Workshop coming up on August 24th. I only have so much room for a hands on class so once registration opens you will want to sign up as space is limited!
Thanks for stopping by,