Fermentation Station: Turnips

   

Five-year-old’s hand in my left, one-year-old’s in my right we made our way through the sand eyes fixed on the waves. The water came to meet us and we drew a breath – it still feels like the Atlanic has just melted. But the air is warm and the sun is hot so we all three keep going. Rhys grinning until he stumbles and gets a face full of saltwater. I carry him and we wander up and down the beach keeping our feet in the water as long as we can manage before scrambling out then going back for more. 

I could only agree with my daughter who, between howels of delight, kept saying, “I’m so happy. I love this.” Me too. And this is only the beginning of summer.  

Besides being the first proper beach day of the season, it is also the first day I have managed to eat fermented foods at all three meals. This goal has been with me since reading The Art of Fermentation a few months ago but breakfast was catching me out (even though my bread is made with wild yeast I am not counting that as I want live microbes): what fermented food could I eat at breakfast? Well, I had fermented turnips, and they were very tasty. 

Fermented Turnips

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 25g salt
  • Several mini or small turnips washed but not peeled. 

Cut the turnips into small stick sized pieces. Mix the water and salt to dissolve. Put turnips into a jar and pack down. Then add saltwater to cover. Push the turnips down with a spoon. Put a lid on top but do not seal it. Leave on a counter at room temperature for 3 days to 1 week. Every morning and evening push the turnips under the water with a spoon. You’ll see bubbles. This means fermentation is happening! Feel free to taste as the week goes on. Once they seem tasty to you, put the lid on and store in the fridge. 

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