Fermentistas! I love the worldwide community, there is so much mutual support and inspiration. A great example is this fermented white asparagus with pink berries. Fermented asparagus is certainly the favorite recipe of David Zilber, former director of the Noma Ferment Lab, for a reason, as he reveals in this interview.
From his recipe in the book Foundations of Flavor: The Noma Guide to Fermentation I got my inspiration. From my personal experience I know that I don't like too much lemon in fermented food. Besides, it's usually quite warm in Hamburg during asparagus season, so the fermentation is accelerated. To slow it down a bit, you can increase the salt content. So I change David's recipe to less lemon, more salt and also add pink berries - they tingle delightfully and have a great aroma!
- 1250 gr. white asparagus
- 1 tsp pink berries (red pepper)
- ½ a lemon in slices
- 1 liter 3.5% brine *
You will also need a 1.5 or 2 liter jar and something that can serve as a weight.
* Mental arithmetic is not easy for you? Never mind! just use my simple ⭢ brine calculator
Peel the asparagus and slice half the lemon very thinly. Place the pink berries at the bottom of your jar, place the asparagus upright on top and put the thinly sliced lemon slices above. Pour on the brine (3.5% in this particular case was 1 liter of water with 35gr. of salt). Weigh down the asparagus as it floats up so it doesn't get over the brine. For this ferment I used 4 glass lids from small jars with a diameter of 6cm. They overlap well, form a good barrier and cost only a few cents.
Let the asparagus ferment for 6 weeks. The first 4-7 days rather warmer, in the kitchen is usually a good place. Afterwards a bit cooler. After the first few days I put my ferments on a shelf in the hallway and hope that it will be about 18° C there.
After a fermentation period of 6 weeks, refrigerate to complete the transformation. The refrigerator is suitable for this purpose. Or any other place that is not warmer than 5-8 ° C. The taste and consistency will be much better if the asparagus is then allowed to mature in the cold for 1-2 weeks. It tastes freshly sour with the fine fruity pungency of the pink berries. And it is incredibly tender without being cooked.
Fermented white asparagus is excellent and extends the short season. I am a fan.