The Backyard Larder

A place to explore and buy perennial vegetables and other food plants.

Fermenting Perennial Vegetables

This is very much an experiment as I’m new to fermenting vegetables. I can make sauerkraut now and feel confident that it will turn out to be very palatable. And I’ve tried Jerusalem artichokes with ginger and garlic which worked fairly well too. I left the artichokes in quite large chunks and, although I liked their unusual taste and kept going back for more, the big pieces stayed a bit too firm.

Fermenting Jersusalem artichokes is said to remove their windiness so was worth trying again with smaller pieces. This I time I mixed them with a whole selection of perennial vegetables from the allotment, plus some shop bought garlic (as my homegrown garlic suffered from a strange disorder called ‘waxy breakdown’ this year and wouldn’t keep).

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In the photo are Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, skirret, buckshorn plantain, Welsh onions, garden sorrel, Chinese artichokes, thyme, scorzonera, Portuguese kale, chicory, sea beet, bay leaves and variegated winter cress. There’s a whole range of flavours there and it will be interesting to see how they taste after fermentation.

I just chopped these all up (first peeling the scorzonera and placing the pieces in acidulated water to prevent them browning), packed them tightly into a quart jar and filling the jar with brine (1.5 tablespoons fine sea salt dissolved in 1 litre of water).

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They will probably take about two weeks to ferment on the side in the kitchen (during which time I just need to keep the contents submerged and not worry about any white scum which will be harmless kahm yeast and just needs scooping off the top). Many thanks to Cissy Budra who gave me the original instructions.

I will let you know how they turn out!

02/01/2017

These were good. I’ve been enjoying them over the holiday and party guests gave them the thumbs up too! A satisfying tangy mix (although I couldn’t detect many very strongly different flavours other than the garlic). The leaves worked well amongst the root vegetables. The Jerusalem artichoke pieces were still firm but better for being smaller and the Chinese artichokes kept their crispness too. Scorzonera was interesting, coming out with a softer texture; I’m interested in fermenting these with just garlic perhaps, or garlic and ginger. Anyway definite encouragement to try more combinations – and I’d love to hear about any that you try – please do leave a comment.

Fermented perennial vegetables

3 comments on “Fermenting Perennial Vegetables”

    Thank you for the update on your mixed fermented veg. I have also been experimenting over the autumn with fermentation as an alternative way of preserving produce. Like you I am now fairly confident with sauerkraut and fermented Moroccan spiced (grated) carrots.
    In the garage I have green tomatoes with garlic and chilli, and an apple ‘chutney’ which is very good.
    My one real failure was cauliflower florets with chilli and garlic. They tasted OK but I couldn’t get past the smell.
    My go-to resource for recipes is Pickle-me-too.
    The veggies plus home-made yoghurt are keeping me fit through winter.

    Reply

    Hi Sue,
    Great to hear from a fellow fermentation experimenter! The spiced carrots sound especially good and might be something to try with skirret. I’ll definitely be visiting Pickle-me-too. Thank you.

    Reply

    Kimchi is my favourite fermentation success. Think Garlic, chilli, ginger sauerkraut…oh its something else. The Korean recipes use a ‘wet brine’ as you do to ferment this makes the ferment ready in a few days in a hot climate (or warm kitchen). Leaving it longer produces softer vegetables quickly. Sauerkraut often uses a ‘dry brine’ and fermentation is slower. I was just caught out at how fast my Korean Kimchi fermented. (Softer kimchi is fantastic in soup.) This is good to know if you are wanting to preserve food over a long period. Sandor Katz is the man to google and he has just done an excellent video on ‘Grow your greens’ on YouTube explaining many of the brines and fermentation techniques.

    Reply

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