Beet green kim chi? You bet.
September 30, 2010
Author: Neighborhood Farm Initiative
Category: General News Recipes
Last night my friends Vinnie and Jenny stopped by for dinner and the appetizers I put out on the dinner table included my first ever batches of fermented pickles and a jar of beet green kim chi — experiments that I’d started about two weeks ago with some greens from the Petworth farmers’ market and cucumbers from the Ft. Totten garden. These two are among the more adventurous eaters among my friends, even tolerating the watermelon radish on shallot bread finger sandwiches that I’d been fiddling with, so I figured they would at least try them and give me some feedback. Try things they did, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Hooray!
According to Wild Fermentation, one can ferment just about anything. Should you want to try out an easy recipe, I recommend beet green kim chi — a spicy, vegan variation on the Korean classic inspired by my fridgeful of beet greens and a little fresh ginger I had lying around. I don’t actually have a copy of the book, so this recipe is loosely based on the more traditional napa cabbage kim chi we made at a fermentation workshop I attended at nearby Common Good City Farm a few weeks ago….
“If You Can’t Beet ‘Em, Join ‘Em” Kim Chi
- water, as needed
The basic process is as follows: combine, mash, cover, wait, enjoy.
In a glass pint jar (or other glass/enamel container), combine the ingredients, mashing ingredients with a wooden spoon as greens are added in roughly 1-inch layers. (See that picture of my first addition of ingredients? All of those beet greens mashed down to about an inch. True story.) Make sure there is a layer of liquid covering everything when you’re finished. If you mash intently enough — c’mon, rise to the challenge — you won’t even need to add any water, as the salt and mashing will draw a sufficient amount of liquid out of the greens. Then cover with a glass or small plate (some folks like to weight the lid to keep veggies submerged) and keep on the counter for a few days. Then dig in. See? Now how easy was that?
- If a layer of mold develops on the surface of your fermenting foods, just skim it off — no, really — and add a little more liquid. Unless it smells like a dead animal, the kim chi should be okay to eat (or so I have been told).