Recently I was running around outside playing tag with some kids, forgetting I was -ahem- middle-aged. I lunged to the side to tag someone and my knee gave out. Youch! So I was not able to get around too well for a couple of weeks.
The worst thing about not being able to walk, aside from having a hard time making it to the bathroom, is that it totally messed up my fermenting schedule! Springtime is great for fresh produce, but when last year’s dill pickles have long been eaten, I get a craving for a little something sour. Fermented radishes have just the right crunch to satisfy my pickle craving until the cukes are ready. With my bad knee, I nearly missed it, but I was able to send someone to the market for a nice bunch of fat radishes to tide me over. So here goes:
- Chop radishes in halves or quarters so that all the pieces are about the same size.
Add the radishes to a clean jar, along with your favorite herbs and spices for flavor. I used a sprig of fresh thyme and 2 garlic cloves, slightly smashed, for this batch. Try other fresh herbs like dill, oregano, or basil. Black peppercorns are another great addition, for a little kick.
Make up a brine solution. The rule of thumb for vegetable fermentation is 1-3 tablespoons salt per quart of water. That’s per quart of water, NOT quart of vegetables. Always make the brine in a separate clean jar.
Pour brine over the radishes until they are completely covered. Discard excess brine solution or use for other vegetable ferments.
If you have some floating radishes, use a weight to keep them submerged under the liquid. Put a tight lid or a fermentation airlock on your jar. Set aside for 3-4 days to ferment. Yes, this is a fast ferment.
If using a tight lid, make sure to open the lid every day to release any fermentation gases that have been produced. After Day 3, remove the lid and take a taste. Do the radishes still have a raw crunch? Put the lid back on and test again in 24 hours. Do the radishes have a crunchy pickle texture? They’re ready to eat!
Make sure to put a tight lid on the jar and store the leftovers in the fridge.