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Pickled peas and carrots
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Martin
Posted 1/8/2019 10:10 (#1650)
Subject: Pickled peas and carrots


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This is a great way to use gluts of mangetout or sugarsnap peas, and, for those who haven't tried it before, an introduction to the wonderful world of fermentation. Unfortunately the recipe is American, so it uses cups as a measure for peas and carrots. I don't think the quantities are all that critical though. A cup is apparently 8 fluid ounces - which still seems a ridiculous measure.
Before you start, the general approach is to mix the veg with salt, and then pack it all into a container. The salt draws out liquid, and the veg must be kept under the liquid to stop it going mouldy. The best way to do that is to use some kind of weight. We use clip-top Kilner jars to pack the veg into. A standard 1 lb. jam jar just fits into the neck of the Kilner jar, so we fill the jam jar with water and use it as a weight. An alternative weight would be a zip-lock plastic bag full of water. The container and weight need to be clean, but not necessarily sterile. Obviously, figure out how this is going to work best for you before you start!
The recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar snap or mangetout peas, cut into half-inch pieces, 2 cups of shredded carrots, a sliced spring onion (but a small onion would do fine) and 2 cloves of garlic, sliced. Put all these into a big mixing bowl, add 1 desertspoon of grated fresh ginger (I think dried would be OK), and 1 desertspoon of turmeric. Then add 1 desertspoon of salt and mix the whole lot up thoroughly. Check the taste - the salt should be noticeable, but not over-powering (about as salty as crisps). Add a bit more salt if necessary but be careful - the salty taste doesn't change during the fermentation. Then pack the mixture firmly into whatever container you are using. I use the end of a wooden rolling pin to bash the veg down - it needs to be really well packed. The quantities here work for a 1 litre Kilner jar - it should come up to about 1 to 2 inches below the shoulder. Put the weight on top. There should be a fair amount of liquid drawn out by the salt; make sure the liquid comes over the top of the veg. Leave it at room temperature for a day or so, then move it somewhere a bit cooler if you can. The pickle will be ready after 5 - 10 days - it should taste sour, the peas should still be crunchy, and the flavours should be mingled. The longer you leave it, the more sour it will get; when it's how you like it, transfer it into jars, with the veg still under liquid. It will continue to ferment, so keep it somewhere cool to slow the process down - in the fridge gives a life of about 6 months or so.
This process is pretty safe because the fermentation produces lactic acid which kills harmful bacteria. Sometimes there will be a bit of scum forming on top, but just spoon it off. When the pickle is kept too long, it all goes to mush. It's still safe to eat but not very nice!
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