Use the brine as liquid for vinaigrettes. Add the chopped garlic to salads, potatoes, pesto, or schmear it onto sandwiches.
- 8 green garlic bulbs, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- A 1-pint jar; a sheet of cheesecloth
Massage garlic with salt in a medium bowl until it releases some liquid. Add red pepper flakes and transfer to jar; pour in ¼ cup water. Top with a weight to submerge garlic (a can of soda works great) and cover jar with cheesecloth. Let sit in a cool, dark place 2–4 days (the longer you let it sit, the stronger the funky flavor will be). When it is flavored to your liking, cover and chill.
Nutritional ContentPer ½ cup: Calories (kcal) 70 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 16 Dietary Fiber (g) 1 Total Sugars (g) 1 Protein (g) 3 Sodium (mg) 1880Reviews Section
Easy Lacto-Fermented Hot Sauce
Easy Lacto-Fermented Hot Sauce, as the name implies, is one of the simplest ferments to make. It requires only 4 ingredients, will be ready in a few days and you don’t need any fancy equipment. nada! You can use any hot pepper or mild peppers you like for this recipe. This method allows the hot sauce to develop complex flavors you can’t get in a traditional recipe.
This is the perfect recipe for a beginner. If you are just starting out or have never made a fermented food in your life this one is not complicated.
This method of pickling is called Brining or Salt Pickling. Instead of pickling the vegetables in vinegar and sugar, this method uses lacto-fermentation or wild fermentation to pickle the green beans. This is a much healthier method that results in a probiotic rich pickle.
It’s one of the simplest methods to make fermented vegetables and I recommend it for beginners. Vegetables are submerged under salt water with spices to ferment. The salt water creates an anaerobic environment (oxygen-free) where lactobacillus (good bacteria) thrive and harmful bacteria can’t.
Brines can be flavored with many spices and herbs, like garlic, dill, peppercorns, juniper berries, bay leaves, ginger, turmeric, mustard, etc. Numerous vegetables can be fermented this way too, such as carrots, radishes, asparagus or zucchini.
Experiment with your favorite herbs and spices on different vegetables to find your favorite combinations. For example, I found that I love the traditional garlic and dill flavors with most vegetables, but I also love asian flavors like ginger, garlic, turmeric and chili with them too.
Tips for Fermenting Green Tomatoes
While making fermented vegetables and other probiotic foods can feel daunting, it's actually a fairly simple and straightforward process. As long as you can fill a jar and mix salt with water, you can make fermented vegetables.
You start first by whisking salt into warm water until it dissolves. Salt gives vegetables, like green tomatoes, flavor and it also helps keep them crisp while they ferment. Next, you'll fill your jar with green tomatoes, chilis, garlic and any other spices you like. After that, you fill the jar with saltwater, seal it and allow the tomatoes to ferment until they taste pleasant to you.
More Tips for Making Fermented Green Tomatoes
- Use a fermentation seal. Fermentation is, ideally, an anaerobic process. That means you want to keep oxygen out while allowing the CO2 that builds up during fermentation to escape. A quart-sized jar with a fermentation seal like this helps.
- Keep tomatoes under brine. Weighing down vegetables with a fermentation weight helps keep them under brine, and away from mold.
- Taste your tomatoes. Your tomatoes are ready when they taste good to you, and so try tasting them around 14 days and continue tasting them until they acquire a pleasant sourness that you like best.
- A light, white film may develop. Kahm yeast is a benign white film that you'll sometimes find on your ferments. You can spoon it off, and your tomatoes will be fine.
Making Basic Pepper Mash
You can make fermented pepper mash from any type of chili pepper, even dried peppers. Your only consideration is the thickness of the pepper walls. Thicker walled peppers may need to be strained after the fermentation period, to remove the coarser skin, so you don&rsquot need to seed them if you don&rsquot want to.
Thinner walled peppers won&rsquot need straining, so you may want to seed them first if you prefer a smoother result when you process the mash later on.
To make pepper mash, first process your fresh peppers in a food processor. If you don&rsquot have a processor, use a mortar and pestle or simply finely chop them.
Next, mix in salt. You should use 1 teaspoon salt (5.69 g) per pound (.45 kg) of peppers. 1 pound of peppers should process down to about 1 cup (220 g, or 7.75 ounces) of mash. So, use 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of mash, which is roughly 2.3% salt by weight.
The peppers will begin to release their moisture right away. A note about salt: most salts are fine to use, but avoid using salts with additives, such as table salt.
Place your mash into a jar and press it down to remove any air pockets. Leave at least 1 inch (2.54 cm) of headspace. The peppers may rise a bit when fermenting. The brine will rise up and cover the peppers. It is important to keep the peppers covered with brine to avoid spoilage. Check this daily.
Screw on the lid and set the jar away from direct sunlight to ferment for at least 1 week. Ideal temperatures are between 55-75 degrees F (12.78-23.89 C). The most active fermentation period is between 1-2 weeks, so be sure to monitor it during this time. &ldquoBurp&rdquo the jars often by unscrewing the lid a bit to let out some of the accumulating gases. Or, use an airlock or membrane for easier fermenting. See below for what I like to use.
After 1-2 weeks, the fermenting activity will diminish. Move it to a pantry where you can let it ferment longer if you&rsquod like, or use it right away.You can ferment for months or even longer to allow the flavors to more fully develop.
Once it is ready, store it in the refrigerator where it will last for a year or longer.
What pepper variety to use? Be creative. I like a mix of Cayenne chili peppers and habaneros as they have good flavor and nice balanced heat. Scotch Bonnets are sweet, fruity (very hot), jalapenos (usually medium hot), serranos (medium hot), poblano (mild), Fresno (medium hot) and cherry bomb peppers (medium hot) are all good choices. Try the Eckerton Hill Farm booth at the Union Square greenmarket, or Stokes farm at the Fort Greene Farmer’s market on Saturdays for a great selection of peppers.
Check out my recipe for fermented Smoky Scotch Bonnet + Bourbon hot sauce, as that recipe is extra, with lots of flavor and pizazz.
This recipe is simple, beautifully green and so tasty.
Growing and preserving your own food is something that everyone should learn how to do. It is not only a great way to stock your pantry with healthy foods, but a great way to be prepared for hard times.
Living in southwest Florida, we get lots of hurricanes. The last major hurricane that we went through (or should I say that went through us!) was hurricane Irma. We were without power for ten days! That experience inspired me to share the 11 main ways to be self sufficient .
And yes, preserving your own food is on that list!
Also if you would like to can your own food, check out my ultimate list of 140 Home Canning Recipes ! Between canning and fermenting you will always be prepared!
- A container for fermenting, such as a pint, quart, or even half-gallon mason jar
- Fermentation air-lock lid and weight. We use an all-in-one Kraut Source fermentation device. Another option is to use a ceramic or glass ferment weight plus a separate airlock lid.
- Fine strainer (or cheese cloth) & bowl, used after fermentation
- Blender, used after fermentation
- Glass bottles or jars for storage of the finished fermented hot sauce
Pack peppers and garlic into jar, as tightly as possible.
Heat water and dissolve salt. Pour this brine over the peppers, using just enough to be sure they’re all covered. (You might need to weight the peppers down with the bottom of a smaller jar to keep them submerged.)
Cover your jar with a paper towel and a rubber band, and tuck it away to ferment for at least 2 weeks and up to 8.
When you’re ready, drain peppers and reserve brine. Process peppers and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, about 2 minutes. Press this mixture through a fine metal strainer into a clean bowl. Add brine a tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want— more brine for a Louisiana style hot sauce, less for Sriracha style.
*Gifting tip: Look for small glass bottles online or recycle your own. We like these gifted in plain brown wrappers, tied at the neck with a bow.
Practice makes perfect – this saying relates to anything, including cooking fermented hot sauces.
All the peppers mentioned above will help you create a delicious fermented hot sauce, but only after trying several recipes can you determine which is the best pepper for a fermented hot sauce for you personally.
As a final tip, check your local farmers market instead of a grocery store to find new, unusual pepper kinds – perhaps, you’ll come across something not listed in my guide!