Even beginners can make their own fermented foods! Fermented Vegetables (Storey Publishing, 2014) includes in-depth instruction for making kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles, and then offers more than 120 recipes, using those basic methods, for fermenting 64 different vegetables and herbs. The recipes are creative, delicious, and healthful, and many of them can be made in small batches…even just a single pint. The following recipe for fermented garlic paste is from Part 3, “In the Crock: Fermenting Vegetables A to Z.”
You can buy this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Fermented Vegetables.
This is a strong, concentrated condiment, delicious as instant garlic seasoning or as a spread. It’s a triple threat: it’s easy to make, it uses a normally discarded part of the garlic plant, and it’s a great time-saving condiment. Virtue number 4? No peeling!
• 1 pound garlic scapes
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
1. Cut the triangular top off the bulbs, leaving the bulbs in place. (The top is dry and stringy and doesn’t purée well.) Cut the stems into 1-inch pieces. Blend in a food processor, in two batches, to the consistency of pesto. Sprinkle in the juice and salt. The veggies will become juicy immediately.
2. Put the paste in a quart-sized jar or crock and press until brine covers the scapes. Put a piece of plastic wrap on the surface to keep the small bits submerged.
3. Set aside on a baking sheet to ferment, out of direct sunlight, somewhere nearby, and cool, for 5 to 10 days. Check daily to make sure the scapes are submerged. You may see scum on top; it’s generally harmless, but consult the appendix if you’re at all concerned.
4. You can start to test the ferment on day 5. It’s ready when the garlic is mild and has a light sour taste, and the bright green color has faded.
5. Store in jars, with lids tightened, in the fridge. This ferment will keep, refrigerated, for 12 months.
More from Fermented Vegetables
Excerpted from Fermented Vegetables (c) Kirsten K. and Christopher Shockey. Used with permission of Storey Publishing. You can buy this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Fermented Vegetables: Creative Recipes for Fermenting 64 Vegetables & Herbs in Krauts, Kimchis, Brined Pickles, Chutneys, Relishes & Pastes.