Fermented carrots are super yummy, like carrot pickles. They make a great healthy snack, side dish, or addition to salad. They are packed with vitamins and gut-friendly bacteria. Different herbs and spices can be added to flavor them however you like. I often use dill, which gives them a familiar and approachable dill pickle-like flavor. This time, I used spicier ingredients with a Tex-Mex flair: hot peppers, garlic, onion powder, mustard seeds, and oregano.
The oregano came straight from my garden. Oregano is an easy herb to grow in Texas. It is not picky about soil and can thrive in full or part sun. Once established, it requires little water. It is perennial and will stay green and usable all year, as long as the winter is not particularly harsh. Pick up a baby oregano plant at a nursery for a few dollars, stick it in the ground in your yard, water every week for a few months to get it going, and you’ll have oregano forever.
The dried serrano peppers in this recipe came from my garden two years ago! I had a surplus of peppers that year and dehydrated many of them. They are remarkably good even after such a long time. Peppers are another easy plant for Texas gardens, although I must admit I’ve had a bad year with them, plagued by problems of pests and pollination. Chile pequins grow wild in my yard. They are extremely spicy, not for the faint of heart. If you live in south or central Texas, keep an eye out for them in your yard. In this recipe, you can use any kind of hot pepper you like, using your best judgement about the spiciness level you will like. Just a couple spicy peppers will make the whole jar fiery. Red pepper flakes will also work, or leaving out the peppers altogether if you don’t like them.
Do you have any tips for growing great peppers? I sure could use them this year! Leave 'em in the comments.
Spicy fermented carrots
Recipe by Hillary Huber, inspired by Alton Brown’s Firecrackers
Note: For more information about fermentation, check out my blog entry here: http://www.destinationbelly.com/home/fermented-peppers
Makes 1 quart
1 tablespoon salt
A few cups filtered water
1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
A few dried or fresh hot peppers (I used 2 dried serranos and 2 fresh chile pequins. I expect it to be very spicy, and I can take a lot of heat.)
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 pound organic carrots, chopped into sticks or slices
Heat up about ½ cup filtered water. Add the salt, stirring until it dissolves. Let cool a little.
Add to the bottom of your fermenting crock (I used a quart canning jar) the oregano, garlic, peppers, onion powder, and mustard seeds. Pour over the salt water. Slosh it around a little to mix the spices into the water. Pack the carrots into the jar. Put a few weights on top of the carrots.
Add filtered water to the jar until it is filled 1-2 inches from the top. Do not overfill. Top with an airlock lid. Let sit indoors out of bright light for 5 days. Check the carrots to see if you like them. If you want a sourer flavor, keep fermenting, taste testing every 3 days. When you decide they are ready, top with a regular lid and put in the refrigerator. Keeps in the fridge for about a year.
My name is Hillary. This blog is about the everyday food I prepare in my kitchen, with tips and recipes for easy, wholesome, and diet friendly meals. I have been chanting "cheese please!" since I was a toddler, although lately I've cut back on dairy.