I make myself a salad everyday. Repetition can sometimes lead to boredom. Thank goodness the world of food is so broad and exciting that this never happens.
Sometimes the base will be spinach, other weeks mixed greens and the next kale. The vegetable toppings vary each week too and so does their preparation. I love to eat veggies raw, I adore the caramelization that comes from roasting and this summer I became obsessed with quick pickling. I've recently discovered a similar, yet very new (to me) preparation: lactic fermentation.
Lactic fermentation preserving is actually the traditional method of preserving vegetables. The process naturally allows forming lactic acid bacteria to partially digest the vegetables and produce additional nutrients. This also increases the acid content of the brine (your water and salt mixture), and will act to preserve the vegetables against infestation of food spoilage bacteria.
Never heard of lacto-fermentation? Chances are you've probably eaten a a fruit or vegetable that has been through this natural process. Sauerkraut is one of the most popular. The process occurs when sugars and starches in fruits and vegetables are converted to lactic acid by a lactic acid forming bacteria that are present. Kind of cool, right?
And there are health benefits to this too. Lactic Fermentation makes the vegetables easier to digest and new nutrients are created. This is great for our digestive tracts to have these living cultures. I tried out my hand at the process with some turnips I got from my local farm. I can't wait to put them on a salad in a week or so. Stay tuned!
Have you ever preserved produce using the lactic fermentation method?
Small Batch Lactic Fermented Turnips
Method from here. Recipe barely adapted.
8-10 small freshly picked turnips
1 cup water, preferably spring
1/2 TB sea salt
Wash, dry and slice turnip roots. Alternatively you can dice or make matchsticks. Combine water and salt until salt. Pack down vegetables and pour in water. Make sure turnips are completely submerged in water. Wait at least a week until consuming. Use on salads, eat with dips or enjoy plain. Save brine liquid for soups, stews and vinaigrettes.