My love of pickles jumped several levels the moment I tasted my first batch of fermented pickles. I grew up with some delicious pickles: homegrown veg stuffed into jars, covered in vinegar brine, and sealed to enjoy all year. And I share many of those classic family recipes, some with modern twists for safety or flavor, in my new cookbook, The Complete Guide to Pickling. But I must admit: If you want to make truly amazing pickles, ferment them.
I talk a lot about fermentation in my new book. Whether you’re new to fermenting or have already fallen for salt brine, be sure to check out Chapter 1, where I explain the differences between vinegar-preserved and fermented pickles and walk you through my fermentation process, step by step; I also describe some of my favorite fermenting ingredients and tools in that chapter and offer many shortcuts for simply using what you already have in your kitchen. Then flip to Chapter 4 and drool over the recipes for fermented pickles. But don’t stop there. As you become more familiar with the book, you’ll realize that I’ve sprinkled fermented recipes throughout the remaining chapters of the book: Scratch-Made Sriracha, Fermented Rhubarb Pickles, Tepache, and more.
Many people feel nervous about fermenting because of its wild nature. But really, it’s one of the simplest ways to pickle food. Once you know what to expect in terms of time, appearance, and smell, you too will likely become hooked on the texture and flavor of fermented pickles.
Read more about fermented pickles and learn to make Chinese-Inspired Brined Beans