Or to the uninitiated. Gherkins.
Hands up, who used to ask their friends if they could eat the discarded gherkins from their [insert famous burger chain] burgers? That was me – I love gherkins! I of course wouldn’t be seen dead in a [insert famous burger chain] these days so I’ll have to get my gherkin fix elsewhere.
A while back I made up a batch of lacto-fermented spiced carrot salad, and I’ve been making this on a weekly basis ever since. Full of pro-biotics its great for anyone wanting to increase the amount of healthy bacteria in their gut. Or anyone in general for that matter. We should all be increasing the amount of healthy bacteria in our guts since a healthy gut is the absolute key to a healthy body.
As much as I love the carrot recipe, variety in eats is essential. Fermented cucumbers up next. This recipe works best with mini cucumbers, and you can usually find them in Lebanese/Turkish stores, or in farmers markets. It does also work with regular cucumbers (I’ve tried) but the texture of the finished gherkin isn’t quite as satisfactory.
I based this recipe on something I’d seen on Mark’s Daily Apple, and in actual fact I’ve tried 2 more versions opting to substitute the dill for a double coriander hit. There is also a fab recipe in Jerusalem by Ottolenghi which I only just realised when I was flicking through it at the weekend. Salads such as this have been a key part of many cultures since the turn of time. Us Brits could do well to get fermented foods as part of our culture…
This week I’ve also been fermenting grated beetroot with ginger. It tastes incredible.
- 8 mini cucumbers
- 450mls water
- 2 T salt
- 1T coriander seeds
- 2 cloves garlic
- 8 springs dill OR handful coriander
- First combine the salt and water, and stir till it dissolved
- Put half the dill, garlic cloves and coriander seeds into the jar,
- Cut the top off both ends of the mini cucumbers. Reserve 1 cucumber, and put the rest whole into the jar, and add the remaining dill on top.
- Slice the remaining cucumber in half and set it on top (see top pic). This stops the cucumbers bobbing up above the water whilst they ferment.
- Now pour in the salty water.
- Cucumbers are now ready to ferment. Ideally leave the lid slightly ajar whilst the cucumbers ferment. This is easier to do with a screw top rather than a lid like I had! If some appears on the surface this is fine - as long as it doesn't smell like its gone off. Just scrape off and continue. Leave the cucumbers from 3-7 days at room temperature. Once ready put the lid on properly and transfer to the fridge.
- Once fermented they will keep in the fridge about a week.