Fermented vegetables are not only absolutely delicious and healthy food for our microbiome due to their probiotic ingredients, they are also often a feast for the eyes and beautiful to look at. My ferments may also please the ears and sound good - hello, Berkeley Haze, fermented Jerusalem artichoke with purple carrots.
The combination of Jerusalem artichoke – also known as sunchoke – and dark purple carrot with juniper and fresh dill is simply the ultimate experience. In terms of taste, health benefits (Jerusalem artichoke has extremely high levels of prebiotic inulin) - and above all in terms of color! Every day the vegetables in the jar look different than before. It's like watching the sun set for days on end.
Speaking of sunsets - the inspiration for this ferment originates in my second homeland California. When homesickness grabs me and I miss my friends and family, I sometimes surf to the page from the cultured pickle shop in Berkeley, CA. How I would love to take a lunch break there now and then. Since that's not possible, I just let myself be inspired by their offers. For example Purple Carrots & Sunchokes with Dill and Juniper.
And because this ferment is extremely popular not only with me, but with everybody, I produce rough masses of it during the season (autumn - winter). By the way, the fresh dill is essential for the taste, don't leave it out. Since it is not always available in winter, you can grow your own at home.
- 380 gr. purple carrots, e.g. Purple Haze, Lila Luder, Deep Purple, ... * (50%)
- 380 gr. Jerusalem artichoke (50%)
- 10 juniper berries
- 1 bunch of fresh dill
- 500 ml water
- 10 gr. salt
These ingredients fit into a 1 liter swing top jar. If I use a 2 liter vessel, about 500 gr. of each vegetable fit in, I increase the juniper berries to 25 and add 700 ml of brine. A bunch of dill is a bunch of dill, more does not make a difference in taste.
* The darkest, solid colored carrots have the most beautiful color result. If you take carrots that have a yellow core, the ferment will be pink rather than purple. This makes only a very subtle difference in taste, so you don't have to sample-slaughter carrots when you buy your veggies. I have also used plain carrots - but then I put a small slice of beet in the bottom of the glass to get the pink color. Without pink or purple, it's not Berkeley Haze 😋
First, prepare the brine so that the salt has enough time to dissolve. To do this, mix the salt with the water.
Cleanly brush the Jerusalem artichoke roots and either also brush or peel the carrots. I personally do not like carrot skin and therefore remove it. Try it out the way you like it best. There are good micro-organisms on the skin that help with fermentation - so, it's only bad if the mouthfeel is affected.
Cut both vegetables into very tender slices. This is much easier with the vegetable slicer than by hand.
Place the juniper berries at the bottom of the glass, then drape the dill over them. Alternately layer the Jerusalem artichoke and the carrots and top with one or more fermentation weights . Make sure that you leave at least 3-4 cm room to the top, otherwise your ferment will get wet feet. This happens when there are enough carbohydrates (and in the case of Jerusalem artichokes, also a lot of inulin) - and you fill the glass too high.
Top up with salt water and allow to ferment for at least eight weeks.
Do not forget to admire the fascinating color development in the first few days ❤️
As a solo ferment, Jerusalem artichoke unfortunately never turned out well for me, it always became slimy. This not untypical slime is due to the high inulin content of the root and is called dextran.
Have you ever fermented Jerusalem artichokes successfully?