Fermented Beetroot (Beets) for salads, mezza style platters and… fermented beetroot hummus!
Okay, so I try not to talk to much about non-food stuff but I promise this is related. One of the first Aussie food things I learned to do was to make homemade canned beetroot. I grew up hating the stuff… when I moved to Scotland it was likewise awful. But then I went to Australia to meet Steve’s family and I’m fairly certain there was a big tub of it sitting on nearly every table at friends and family’s houses. It was a side to nearly every meal… and the reason was because it tasted awesome with all the Aussie platters and pretty much all summer food. So… I found an Australian recipe and learned to can it myself. We enjoyed it for years on grilled cheese sandwiches and in salads but when life got a bit more stressful my already high sugar sensitivity went through the roof and I needed to find a new way to prepare my favorite things. In came Nourishing Traditions and a whole wide world of cultured foods was opened to me. Once I got through the extreme language I saw the value in the foods and way of preparation used. I’m sure it helped that from the very first experiment I fell in love with the flavors of ferment. I started on milk kefir, and found a budget friendly friend in fermenting hummus. Began making my own Ginger Beer (Ginger Whiskey as my husband calls it) and found for myself that the probiotics themselves also helped with my genetic predisposition for anxiety. (Thank you, Scottish roots). So I’ll shut up now, but all that to say I was pleasantly surprised to find a way of preparing one of my favorite vegetables that brought it to life rather than just baked the life out of it, though I still like that as well.
I did this recipe in a 2 Liter Kilner swing top canning jar but you can adjust proportions to your liking.
Fermenting lids and weights are helpful but you can do this with stainless steel or plastic lids… or swing top like this one. In place of a weight you will need a sanitized jar small enough to insert on top of the veg. Another trick is to fill a clean ziplock back with water and stuff it in. I have done this when using a bigger jar like with Kimchi.
- 1-2 bunches beetroot, depending on the size of your jar or jars.
- 1-2 Tablespoon kosher salt, sea salt or pink salt
- Glass jar, sanitized
- Fermenting weight or small jar, sanitized
- Make sure all your tools are clean and washed with hot soapy water and rinsed.
- You can sanitize your jars in the dishwasher but I tend to put mine in the oven. I set it to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (the lowest temp) and place my jars and weights on a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat to prevent slipping. I leave them in at that temperature for 2-5 minutes while I’m prepping the veg.
- Remove beetroot leaves and “tail” with a clean knife.
- You can use a mandolin or a sharp chef’s knife and slice the beetroot thinly and evenly. About 1/4″ or slimmer if you can as it makes for awesome texture and layering.
- Fill your sanitized jar with washed, unpeeled and sliced beetroot.
- Leave 2-3″ room at the top for placing the fermenting weight… and you’ll still want 1-2″ room to prevent explosions.
- Dissolve 1 tablespoon pink salt or sea salt per 2 cups warm non-chlorinated water and pour over the top, repeating until all your veg is covered. Insert sanitized jar or weight to keep vegetables submerged. Close lid.
- If you do not have fermenting or swing lids, set the lid loosely and cover with a towel to keep bacteria out. Wait 3-7 days, depending on your taste.
I love this in salads and paleo wraps and mezze platters. I’ve done this with Golden and Chiogga Beetroot as well but the red is still my favorite for fermenting.
The colors are gorgeous and the healthy bacteria are a boon! 🙌🏼