ALEX LEWIN’S FERMENTED VEGETABLES
Choose an assortment of freshly picked vegetables, such as cabbage, turnips, rutabagas, beets, parsnips and radishes. Lewin likes to combine turnips, beets and parsnips; cabbage, onions and carrots; or just turnips alone. The easiest way to ferment them is with pickle juice from a previous batch, but here we are fermenting from scratch with salt.
Weigh them. For every pound of vegetables, use two teaspoons of salt (preferably sea salt or kosher salt without additives). Alternatively, use 20 grams of salt for each kilogram of vegetables—which is 2% salt by weight.
Slice or shred the vegetables finely with a knife, box grater or food processor. Mix the vegetables in a large bowl with the measured salt. Add herbs and spices as you wish. Pack the mixture tightly into Ball jars or other jars with tight-closing lids, leaving at least an inch of space at the top. Push down on the vegetables (the bottom of a narrower jar works well) until liquid starts to rise over the top. Close the lid. Leave the jars at cool room temperature. (A cool pantry or root cellar is perfect. This is the modern version of burying it underground.)
Every day or two, open the lid, taste the pickled vegetable mixture with a clean fork, and push down again until the liquid again rises above; replace the lid.When you like the way it tastes, start eating it! The colder you store the pickle, the more slowly it will sour. When it becomes very sour, it’s still good in soups and stews.