My CSA farmers didn’t know it at the time, but they decided that I would make fermented garlic dill carrots this week.
Whether or not there’s another human in my presence, my CSA unboxing usually sounds like the part of the cooking show where the celebrity chef strolls through the staged outdoor market, “choosing” the produce that’s about to get chopped up on camera.
Wow, these shallots are a nice size. I’m going to need to find some good fish and a bottle of white wine just for these. Yay, I have an excuse to get wine! Ooh, heavy. Is that a butternut squash? If I’m impatient, I’ll make my apple bacon squash soup soon, but if I wait a few weeks it’ll be sweeter. Still getting tomatoes? I’ve been so ceremonious with the tomatoes since early September, because I keep thinking that every one I eat is my last. These have to be my last, right? FENNEL! Uh-oh, do I chop it up with oranges for a salad or bake it with the fish and shallots? It’s huge, I can do both…
Yep, all this happens out loud.
This week, among the familiar produce, I found that I have to use a daikon radish and a winter radish. When in doubt, throw it in a jar with salt brine and see what happens?
Experiments aside, I found the three main ingredients for a good ‘ol standby, fermented garlic dill carrots: carrots, garlic, and dill.
This is what I consider an easy ferment because there’s no smashing, pretty much no elbow grease. If you can shove carrots into a jar, you can do this!
Fermented Dilly Carrots Recipe
What you need…
5-7 carrots quartered lengthwise then cut to fit if longer than the jar
4 cloves garlic, left whole or sliced thin
4-5 good-sized sprigs of dill
Just over 2 tbsp Himalayan pink salt
3c Filtered water
1 bay leaf
Clean your jar and any utensils you may use in a hot water bath. Remove with tongs and cool on a clean dry surface.
Place a bay leaf, the garlic slices and dill (no need to chop) into the bottom of the jar.
In a measuring cup or another jar, mix 3c filtered water with just over 2 tbsp salt. I used my favorite brine calculator to figure out a 3.5% brine, which told me that I need 26g of salt for 3c water. According to my scale, 2 tbsp salt comes out to roughly 25g. So if we need 26, it’s just over 2tbsp. Or you can use your digital kitchen scale to measure a precise 26g. Set aside.
Place carrots into the jar, standing straight up. The goal is to have them all standing straight up and packed so tightly that they will not float. It’s kinda fun to see how many you can shove in there.
Pour the salt water over the carrots until the brine reaches an inch or more over the top of the carrots. Cover with two coffee filters secured with a rubber band. Find a clean, shaded, undisturbed place where it can do its thing for about a month.
**Check it every now and again for off-smells and signs of mold or kahm yeast. Kahm can be scraped off with a sterilized stainless-steel spoon, but even the slightest signs of mold means the whole thing needs to be dumped. I almost always get kahm in this one, and I got mold a few times using a 3% brine. That’s why I bumped to 3.5%. All good since using a little more salt!
Since these ingredients are available most of the year, this one can be made pretty much whenever!
**For informational purposes only. The above is the method that works for me in my kitchen conditions. Temperatures, kitchen and tool cleanliness, airborne pathogens and countless other factors can affect the quality of your ferment. Home and store-bought fermented products can turn unsafe to consume. You must use your best judgment to determine whether or not your fermented foods are safe to consume. The decision to eat something or not is yours and yours alone. We take no responsibility for any illness that may occur.