I love to ferment. I love to eat fermented foods. I love to share probiotic health with friends, family and strangers. Did I mention that I love fermented foods? I do. I really, really do.
cool graphic I pulled off the internet, but unfortunately don’t know the source…
Escabeche is a traditional Latin dish. I did not invent it AT ALL. In fact, the reason I am sharing it is because I have been serving it recently at gatherings and potlucks, and people are very excited for my recipe. So, here it is! On the interwebs! Yay!
In a large, nonreactive bowl, combine all ingredients except the salt, water and marjoram.
Add the salt to the bowl and gently massage into the vegetables to coat (you may want to glove-up for this. DON’T RUB YOUR EYES DURING OR AFTER PREPARATION OF THIS DISH!!! Also, bedroom activities can get pretty exciting-in-a-bad-way if you don’t thoroughly remove all the pepper and ginger oils from your skin.)
*Optional: cover the bowl and leave sitting out at room temperature overnight. The salt will start to pull the juices from the vegetables and make for a better (in my opinion) ferment.
Place the marjoram sprig in the bottom of a clean, dry glass jar (if using multiple smaller jars, put a small sprig of marjoram in each).
Stuff the jar(s) full of the vegetable mixture. Gently press as many vegetables as possible into the jar, taking care not to actually crush the vegetables. The goal is to avoid having any air pockets in the jar.
DO NOT OVER-FILL THE JAR. Only fill to the level of the “shoulder”… about ½”- 1 inches below the lip.
Pour whatever juices are left in the mixing bowl into the jar(s). If vegetables are not totally covered by liquid, add a tiny bit of distilled/spring water until all veggies are submerged.
Use a cabbage leaf or grape leaf to cover all the veggies and hold them beneath the surface.
Put a lid on your jar, and store in the dark, at room-temperature to ferment.
Start taste-testing the veggies after 2 weeks.
**if you are having an escabeche emergency and need to speed up the fermentation, you can add 2 Tbs of liquid whey. Escabeche should be tasty in 4-6 days, but you can’t feed it to your vegan friends any more.
***tips: “burp” the jar every couple days to keep excessive pressure from building. I’ve heard explosions can happen, though I don’t know anyone who has experienced one.
**** sometimes a whitish film forms on top of the ferment. This happens when your veggie matter breaks the surface of the liquid and is exposed to air. Most fermentation experts agree that it is totally acceptable to skim the film off the surface to discard, and it causes not harm to the ferment.
Nutritional Estimates are SUPER estimate-y because things transform during fermentation, and I don’t know how to calculate that! Estimates are for a ½ cup serving
super-estimatey nutritional calculation for fermented escabeche.
*Do research about hygiene, contamination and possible risks of fermenting foods. Weigh the benefits of probiotics and fermented foods vs the possible hazards. Make informed decisions. This is merely a recipe that I enjoy and the methods I use. Proceed at your own risk.