Lacto-Fermented Pickles

Brine

1 quart water

2 T kosher salt  or sea salt (do not use table salt)

2-3 t pickling spice

1 t red pepper flakes (optional)

4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

3 T snipped fresh dill or 2-3 sprigs dill

Optional – ½ – 1 C white vinegar

Very clean 1qt. wide-mouthed mason jar with screw top lid or wire-hinged jar with rubber seal

Vegetables – Kirby cucumbers, green beans, carrots, radishes, kohlrabi, beets, turnips

Boil the water and pour it into a bowl, add the salt and pickling spices and then allow to cool.

Wash and peel (as needed) the vegetables you have selected to pickle. Cut into desired size and pack the clean jar with vegetables. Add the garlic and dill, then pour in the brine. The brine should cover the vegetables enough so that the liquid is about 1 inch below the top of the jar. Screw the top on the jar and allow to sit at room temperature for 3 days.

After this time, carefully open the jar (I prefer to place the jar in the kitchen sink). The liquid should be very fizzy and the lid should pop when opened, often causing some liquid to run over the top of the jar. Taste a vegetable, which should have a nice tang and a “dilly” flavor. If they are to your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator; if they aren’t fermented to your liking, close the jar and let it sit another 24 hours. If you prefer a more vinegar tang, you can pour off some of the brine and add the white vinegar. Once refrigerated, the pickles will continue to lacto-ferment, but at a much slower rate and the flavor will mellow over time. They will keep for several weeks, even a few months, but the flavors will mellow and if you use cucumbers, the texture will soften over time.

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