Many people avoid sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, because they have a tendency to cause gas. But cooking the tubers helps with this, and fermented sunchokes digest easily, too.
Fermented sunchokes have the texture similar to a water chestnut. This simple fermented recipe creates a crunchy, flavor-packed pickle. The end result is great enjoyed in salads, on the side of a meal or served on a charcuterie platter.
Yield: 1 pint
- 2 cups sunchokes, unpeeled, sliced into coins
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tsp. coarse kosher salt, dissolved in 1 cup water
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric powder
Scrub the sunchokes clean and trim away knotty ends. Slice into 1/4 to 1/2-inch coins. You can remove the skin if you prefer. However, the natural bacteria present on the skin does aid in the process of fermentation.
They will still ferment properly if you would rather not eat the skin, though.
Add the garlic and sliced sunchokes into a clean pint canning jar. Leave 1 1/2 inches of headspace (room from the sunchokes to the rim of the jar).
Mix together the brine and pour it over the sunchokes until they are completely submerged by at least a 1/4 inch. Remove any small pieces of food that float up to the top of the brine. Produce above the brine will increase the risk of the ferment spoiling.
Wipe off the rim of the jar with a clean, dampened towel. Add the canning jar lid, and tightly screw on the ring.
This is an eight-day ferment. Ferment at room temperature, ideally between 60 to 75 degrees F (15 to 23 degrees C), and keep out of direct sunlight.
Check on the ferment daily to make sure that the brine covers all the produce. If the produce has floated above the brine level, use a clean utensil to push it back below the brine.
Burp the jar daily. Unscrew the lid briefly and tighten it back on to allow any built-up gas to release (and avoid possible jar breakage or the ferment from overflowing).
Once the fermented sunchokes have reached an ideal flavor (garlicky and tangy with some effervescence), transfer the jar into the refrigerator, brine and all.
If you do not have a glass jar weight, you can improvise by using an easily removable small food-grade glass dish that fits inside the jar. Or, if you have a smaller glass canning jar that can fit into the mouth of the jar you are fermenting with, you can use that to keep the produce pushed under the brine.
If you prefer to use fresh turmeric instead of ground turmeric, you can substitute 1 tbsp. grated fresh turmeric in this recipe.
If you are unsure if your water is safe for fermentation, you can boil it and allow it to cool to room temperature before stirring in the salt to make your brine.
This recipe has been adapted from Can It & Ferment It (first edition) with permission from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.