Practically every culture on the planet has used fermentation as a vehicle to preserve and enrich native foods. The process of fermentation, in plain speak, is bacteria feeding on the natural sugars in foods, producing lactic acid and beneficial bacteria in the process. Fermenting is economical, fun, and on trend with other homegrown traditions currently experiencing a renaissance of sorts. All the cool kids are doing it. You can ferment anything really, but as a salute to spring (hurry up already), I decided to give radishes a try.
Radishes are members of the cruciferous family, think broccoli and cabbage. They are known for their crisp texture and biting flavor. Radishes are a good source of Vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. Radish fun fact: they are cholagogues. Chola-what? Cholagogues support digestion and detoxification by stimulating bile flow from the liver. Want to give your liver a hug? Eat them radishes.
Recipe Courtesy of Fermented by Jill Ciciarelli
What you need:
3 bunches of radishes
1 quart filtered water
3 tbs. unrefined sea salt
What to do:
1. Bring water to a boil, add salt, stir until dissolved. Let brine cool to room temperature.
2. Wash radishes well and trim as needed. Thinly slice.
3. Pack radishes in a quart-size jar. You can add red pepper flakes, sliced onion, garlic, or fresh herbs, whatever tickles your fancy.
4. Pour brine into jar making sure radishes are fully submerged. (I like to use a fermentation weight to hold vegetables under the brine.)
5. Cover loosely and let ferment at room temperature for 3 days. (I have had more success using a fermenting lid. You can order from Homesteader's Supply.)
*This blog post afforded me the pleasure of working with Eden Swartz of Eden Swartz Photography. She took all the amazing foodie pics. Her photographs are colorful, fun, and genuine- just like her. Check her out!