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Cultured Vegetables: Pickled Kohlrabi Spears with Dill and Caraway (gluten free, raw, vegan)

Posted Oct 16 2009 10:03pm

I adore kohlrabi. After leaving the farmer's market with a bag full of it last week, I thought pickling some would be fun. I wanted something like dill pickles, so I cut the kohlrabi into spears/sticks, and flavored them with dill weed, dill seeds, and caraway seeds. They turned out marvelously - crisp, salty, and full of dill and caraway goodness. My dad is in town visiting this weekend, and he also gives them a big thumbs up. He was a little hesitant to try them after seeing all the carbonation and crazy foam explode from my jar when I opened it. After his first bite, however, he was quickly converted to a homemade kohlrabi pickle fan, and asked for more.

Since it is so hot, and my apartment is about 75*-80*, I let my kohlrabi sit out for about 2 1/2 days instead of 3-4. I've read that 70* is the perfect temperature for fermentation, so temps hotter or cooler than this will alter the rate at which it ferments. I think 2 1/2 days was a good choice!


As soon as my garden yields enough cucumbers, I plan on making real pickles. But until then, kohlrabi pickles will be a great substitute! I will be making these again. Nothing is easier - if you can cut vegetables, fill a jar, and let something sit on the counter for a few days, you can pickle your own vegetables.

VINEGAR FREE, LACTO-FERMENTED PICKLED KOHLRABI SPEARS WITH DILL AND CARAWAY (gluten free, raw, vegan)

yield 1 qt

2 large kohlrabi bulbs
2 T salt
many sprigs of fresh dill
1 tsp dill seed
1 tsp caraway seed
1-1 1/2 c water
  1. Wash and peel kohlrabi well, then slice into long sticks about 1/4" x 1/4". Sneak a few of them raw and enjoy how delicious and crunchy kohlrabi is!
  2. Put sticks in jar, layering with dill, dill seed, and dill weed. As you are putting them in jar, press down lightly with a wooden spoon, and continue filling until there is about 1" between kohlrabi and top of jar.
  3. Mix together salt and water, and pour over kohlrabi until covered, leaving 1" at the top. Cover tightly.
  4. Let sit out at room temperature (around 65* -70* F) for about 3 days. Temperatures hotter than this will make things ferment more quickly, cooler temps will make for slower fermentation. So, follow your intuition. Transfer to cold storage after fermenting.
  5. Can be eaten immediately, or kept for up to 8 months in the refrigerator. Gets better with age!
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