Fermented carrots? We’ve made a vinegar-based carrot pickle for years (it’s extremely spicy) that remains one of the more popular items in our pantry. This fermented version has no spice and contrasts the natural sweetness of the carrot with the sour of fermentation. The carrots also have great texture (much the same as a deli pickle retains it’s crunch). We will eat these as a snack, garnish, salad dressing or as part of a side dish for dinner.
If you’ve never fermented carrots (or anything) before, this is a great place to start. It’s very easy to do and you can start with a single carrot (we used half of a giant one). The recipe is easily scalable so you can make as much or as little as you want. They ferment on your counter and are stored in the fridge when complete.
FERMENTED CARROTS – INGREDIENTS (MULTIPLY TO MAKE AS MUCH AS YOU WANT)
- 0.5 pound carrot, sliced evenly (I use a mandoline)
- 1 clove garlic, sliced as thin as you can (I carefully use a mandoline for this)
- 1.2 teaspoons kosher salt (approx.)
- 2 cups de-chlorinated water (I boil it and let it cool to ensure there is none)
FERMENTED CARROTS – INSTRUCTIONS
Note: One of the keys to fermentation is to keep the vegetables submerged. People often use a small mason jar inside a wide-mouthed one (we describe that process in our 1-pound sauerkraut recipe here) but you could also place 1-cup of water with 1-tablespoon of salt into a ziplock bag and use that to keep your vegetables under the brine. I found that this wasn’t an issue with my carrots – they didn’t float so I didn’t weigh them down. I suspect you won’t have to either.
- Toss the carrots and garlic with the salt.
- “Massage” the carrots – pick up small handfuls and squish them with your hands. This colored helps break the cell structure down and helps liquids release from the carrots.
- Place the vegetables into a non-reactive jar (a glass one, like a mason jar is ideal)
- Leave the vegetables for a few hours. There’s no real magic number here but I wait 3 or 4. A bit of orange-colored juice will have been coaxed out of the carrots and into the jar; this is a good thing.
- Cover your vegetables with de-chlorinated water.
- Place carrots in a warm place in your kitchen (I put them on top of our highest shelf). I like to find a space that’s somewhere between 60-75 degrees (approximately). They should be loosely covered (beware of tightly covering them as fermentation will build pressure). Most people use cheesecloth to keep flies and dust out but I use a reusable coffee filter like this.
- You should start to see small bubbles within 1-3 days (the timing will largely depend on temperature). I like to taste right from the start but many people only begin tasting after 2 or 3 days. When the carrots are as sour as you’d like (often once the bubbling stops), you’re done! Place in the fridge; they will keep a long time in there.
If you’re still not convinced, maybe the cast of Portlandia can convince you to pickle that too!?!