Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Beets & Leeks in two weeks: A new ferment

leave a comment »

The starting point

I found some nice-looking leeks (at long last), so I’m finally going to make a Beets & Leeks ferment. Here’s what I planned:

• 3 large leeks with long stems, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced
• 3 good sized red beets, grated [bought 4, decided to use only 3]
• 1 large red onion, halved then thinly sliced
• 2 red apples, grated
• 1/2 Nantes (enormous) carrot, grated
• 6 red cayenne peppers, thinly sliced
• about 4″ ginger root, thinly sliced [I used that knob and another the same size]
• 6 pitted Medjool dates, chopped
• 1 packet vegetable ferment starter culture

I listed the ingredients yesterday, because I tend to assemble recipes on the fly, and sometimes I forget things. Having the list is a good reminder, and sleeping on the list overnight lets more ideas come to mind. The carrot, for example, was added after I initially made the list.

I’m expecting this batch to be around 3 liters, perhaps a little more. If it’s not 3 liters, I’ll shred some red cabbage and add that to bring it up to the 3-liter mark.

And now it’s made! It will ferment for 14 days: July 7 it will go into the refrigerator.

Two 1.5 L jars of Beets & Leeks

I did a lot of slicing, using a good knife. I started by slicing off the green leaves right at the top of the leeks. I’ll save those, and (after carefully rinsing them — they often harbor quite a bit of dirt) will chop them and use them in cooking. For years I discarded leeks’ green leaves, and then one day I realized that those leaves are also leeks, and I could cook and eat them. No more discarding of good food.

I am pleased by the accuracy of my estimate: just a little less than 3 liters, allowing some room at the top. This batch (vegetables only) weighs 2.6kg (well, 2.592kg = 5.7 lbs), so I used 52g grey sea salt — 2%. (That’s 1.8 oz — it seemed about 4 tablespoons (I measured it into a 1/4 cup bowl for weighing), but I wasn’t paying strict attention to volume — the weight was what was important.)

After everything was grated and sliced and in the bowl, I added the salt and with clean hands massaged and mixed the ingredients thoroughly. I spent about 10 minutes at that, and some liquid gathered in the bottom of the (large stainless Rösle) bowl.

Once the vegetables were well massaged and mixed, I poured in 1/2 cup of spring water in which one packet of Cutting Edge starter culture had been hydrating since before I started slicing and grating. Once the starter culture was added, I continued to massage and mix to ensure that it was evenly distributed, about 5 minutes more.

I then loaded the two jars. I used a canning funnel on the widemouth canning jar, but the Weck cylindrical jar (a gift from The Eldest) needs no funnel. (That link is to a set of four jars from; you can also order a pair of jars directly from Weck.) I like the Weck because its cylindrical shape makes loading easy, and it’s also easy later to extract a serving of fermented vegetables. Once all vegetables were in the jars, I added the liquid left in the bowl, splitting it evenly between the two jars.

I have a kraut pounder (not this one, but same idea), and I used it to tamp down the vegetables. Then I took a table knife and pushed it down through the packed mass in several places, twisting it slightly, so the vegetables would not be too tightly packed.

Finally, I poured in enough spring water [and this spring water should have been brine] to cover the vegetables, added the fermentation weights, and covered the jars. The widemouth canning jar got a fermentation lock; the Weck jar will just make do with the weight of its unsecured lid. (Once fermentation is finished, I will use the two spring clips that came with the Weck to secure the lid tightly.)

I think this will be a good batch. I like how I can get the variety I want by fermenting my own selection of vegetables. My general post on what I’ve done and learned in fermenting vegetables might be useful if you decide to give it a go.

Fermentation complete, and it tastes good

On July 7, two weeks after I started the ferment, I deemed it done. It turned out well. As noted at the link, I think I’ll skip the dates next time, but otherwise it’s quite satisfactory.

Update: It’s July 16, and I’ve been having a bowl of beets & leeks every day or two. It is extremely tasty. This one will be repeated.

Written by Leisureguy

23 June 2022 at 12:57 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: