Recently, I’ve been trying to incorporate more fermented foods into my preserving routine. I like that I don’t have to bother with the canner, the food maintains it’s nutritional value, the batch size is very flexible, and that it requires so little time and so few ingredients. Along the way, I discovered these fermented kohlrahbi pickles, which turned out better than I’d ever expected. They’re not just good. They’re amazing, totally addictive. If you like cucumber dill pickles, you’ll love these. Sorry cucumbers, I’m breaking up with you. I’ve found a new vehicle for the dilly crunch that I just gotta have.
If you’ve never tried kohlrahbi: it’s a wonderful, easy to grow vegetable. To prepare it, you remove the leaves and stems and then use a paring knife to remove the outer skin from the bulb. Slice the bulb into rounds for a crunchy snack – it’s great dipped into hummus or goat cheese. It’s also nice in soups, stir-fry, and salads. (Another farmer at the market yesterday told me that she likes to make a mediterranean salad with diced kohlrahbi, diced tomatoes and feta cheese, which sounds divine.) The flavor is fantastic — it kind of reminds me of broccoli stalks, which I also love because they’re sweet and crunchy. It grows best when it’s sown as an early spring crop and then another batch later in the fall. For seeds, I like the crispy colors duo from Renee’s Garden.
Fermented Dilly Kohlrahbi Chips
Makes: 1 quart jar
Cook Time: super duper fast and then a couple days to wait for it to ferment
- 2 1/2 c. thinly sliced kohlrahbi rounds (about 2 large bulbs)
- 1 tbs. sea salt
- 3 dill heads
- a couple sprigs of dill leaves
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- water to cover, about 1 1/2 c.
Sterilize a quart jar. Put the kohlrahbi rounds, dill heads, dill leaves, garlic, and sea salt into the jar. Cover with water, leaving about 1/2″ headspace. Add the salt. Screw on the lid. Shake the whole thing like crazy for a minute to mix up the saltwater brine.
Set it in a warm, dark corner somewhere for a couple days. It takes a couple days to ferment. You’ll want to try a piece after 2 or 3 days to taste and see if it’s there yet. The pickles will go from salty and okay-tasting to this dilly-sour-happy-taste-bud-explosion. When it reaches that perfect point, stick the jar in the fridge to keep the flavors right where they are. They’ll last in the fridge for… a really, really long time, theoretically, but you’ll probably eat the whole jar in just a day or two if you like dill pickles like me.