BY JORDAN CHAMPAGNE
Making sauerkraut, kimchee and pickles is a great way to play with spring’s tender vegetables. It is also a good way to brush up on your preserving skills while the mountains summer fruits are mere ideas in the world—just blossoms and seeds—and have yet to come raining down upon us.
Spring is the time of year when vegetables are king. The beets, carrots and other root crops have had a chance to nestle into winter’s cold, damp earth and slowly grow into juicy, tender roots.
Fermenting vegetables and other food is the only way to actually increase nutritional value while preserving it. It is also a way to really eat locally because we foster the live cultures and promote cooperation with visible and invisible life that surrounds us. This is the real local biodiversity.
Fermentation is the safest way to preserve food because muchfeared botulism cannot create its dangerous byproduct in the aerobic environment of fermented foods.
Fermented foods are delicious, nutritious, safe and easy—a great introduction to preserving foods. My absolute fermentation hero, Sandor Katz, just wrote a new book on fermented foods titled The Art of Fermentation. It’s due out in May, just in time for when you really get into it.
In the meantime, the farmers are ramping up for the spring plantings, which will bleed into the busy summer harvest. These recipes will help you ramp up your skills.
Jordan Champagne is the co-owner and founder of Happy Girl Kitchen Co. She has a passion for preserving the local, organic harvest and loves sharing the secrets she has unearthed. She teaches preservation workshops at the company’s café in Pacific Grove.
Happy Girl Kitchen Co. • 173 Central Ave., Pacific Grove
831.373.4475 • www.happygirlkitchen.com