With the help of salt, which the bacteria are able to tolerate, the activity of less salt tolerant microbes are limited as a result. Lactic acid bacteria break down some of the sugars in the vegetables to produce sour lactic acid. This method predates vinegar pickling and is better for you- the microbes enhance your own gut flora and also make medicinal compounds found in plants more easy to absorb in the gut. I always use kilner jars for small scale fermenting- they allow the CO2 produced by the process to escape. To check your ferments, just loosen the lid a touch- if it fizzes, then its active and going well. You can use normal jars, it just means you have to keep opening them slightly (I suggest daily) to let the gas out.
3 small courgettes topped, tailed and diced (needs to be about 320g final weight);
1 medium sized onion, chopped finely (about 100g final weight);
10g rock samphire, finely chopped;
10g dandelion, finely chopped;
10g nettles, finely chopped (wearing gloves!);
A heaped teaspoon of sea salt (7.5g);
- a 500g kilner jar;
- something, such as a small glass bottle, to press the mix into the jar.
1. Once you have chopped everything, add to a bowl and mix in the salt, then allow to sit for an hour or so (a bit longer makes it even easier to press into the jar). This will begin to soften and draw water our from the courgettes and onion, making it easier to press the mixture into the jar.
2. Press into the jar, seal it up then leave to stand at room temperature for 3-5 days before opening.
3. Taste a little morsel- if its sour, its ready to eat, of not, let it 'cook' for a couple more days.
4. Once you have opened the jar and started eating the contents, store in the fridge.