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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lacto-Fermented Asparagus

I went a little crazy with the asparagus this Spring.  Each trip to the Farmer's Market yielded at least one bundle of beautiful it long, thin and green...or thick and purple...or ghostly white...I was really feeling the asparagus this year.  Luckily everybody around our place adores it.  When my pal Diana shared her recipe for lacto-fermenting asparagus, I knew that was a must on my list!  With all the cheesemaking I do successfully or not, I have plenty of whey on hand to use for the process of about fate.  Fermentation is a chemical reaction in which sugars are broken down into smaller molecules that can be used in living systems, according to Dictionary dot com.  To read a little more about it, check out Diana's lacto-ferment post!  Okay, I am totally tootin' Diana's horn here, aren't I!? That's okay, she totally deserves it...she's such an inspiration.

Lacto-Fermented Asparagus
adapted slightly from this recipe from Diana of A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa...using what I had on hand

•1 bunch asparagus, cut in half...or even thirds if it is long and thin and rinsed
•2 long stalks of spring onions, sliced
•a few sprigs fresh parsley, rinsed
•1/2 TBS. black peppercorns
•1/2 TBS. coriander seeds
•1 TBS. sea salt
•1/4 c. whey (If you do not have whey, feel free to add 1 tbls extra sea salt)
• filtered water (must be filtered as chlorine will disrupt the fermentation process)

1.In a quart sized mason jar, add the asparagus, spears down.
2.Add the parsley in between the asparagus spears.
3.Add the onion, peppercorn and coriander seeds.
4.Add the filtered water, sea salt and whey. Make sure you add enough water to cover and 1" from the top of the jar.
5.Cover and shake it up, making sure everything is underneath the liquid.
6.Allow to ferment in a dark cool place for 3 days up to two weeks (or more).
7. Store in refrigerator after initial ferment. It will continue to ferment once in fridge, but at a much slower rate.

Pack everything into jar

Leave an inch of headroom...I didn't, even though I knew I should have...I just put it inside a container to catch the bit of overflow I knew would come from the fermentation process.

Ready to set aside in a cool, dark place for fermentation

After fermentation...that fade to army green...num, num

Delicious served with farm fresh poached eggs (sprinkled w/ a little Wild Porcini sea salt) and Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf.

I think fermenting this way tastes a bit different than if it were pickled in vinegar...milder, sweeter... Give it a try!  If you want some whey and don't have any on hand, you can always join us over at Forging Fromage where we make our own cheese every're guaranteed to have some whey in no time!

Would you like to comment?

  1. Thanks so much for mentioning me Heather!! I love that you added parsley, yumm!! Your pictures are beautiful and the poached eggs look so good!!! Un beso!!

  2. This is crazy! Like pickling...but not. I love it!

  3. Oh heather! This is simply DIVINE! Thanks so much for sharing it at the Two for Tuesday recipe blog carnival! I have to tell you, your food photography is amazing! You should definitely share your tips on the RFM blogroll forum because girl, you got it goin on!!! I also adore fermented veggies and will be making this one for certain!

    :) alex

  4. Heather, that is one lovely recipe/technique! I'm not wild about asparagus, but I always purchase them at the Farmer's Market because they are so freshly and pretty. This might just be the answer for me.

    The photograph of the soft cooked egg with the asparagus is beautiful! Love the soft edges.

  5. Diana...the pleasure was all mine!

    Joanne...I know, right!

    Alex...glad to be a part of Two for Tuesdays!! And thank you for the photo compliments...I'm trying =) never know until you try, right ;)! Thanks, I'm really digging those edges, too.

  6. This sounds great and definitely worth a try! Love that asparagus and you did it up right!

  7. What an interesting post. I've never seen asparagus prepared this way before. You're so right...we have to try it to see for ourselves if we like it.

  8. Well I have never heard of such a thing! How fun and adventurous and I'm sure WONderful. My big adventure tonight is trying a new Tortilla Soup recipe! I'll be in touch! :-)

  9. This recipe sounds fantastic!I love Diana's blog.

  10. Heather, the asparagus looks great, but those eggs look to die for! I love the visuals--I can only imagine that they taste divine.

  11. You got me with that runny egg then with the asparagus. What a neat way to "cook" them.

    That picture of everything all nestled cozily in the jar is scrumptious.

  12. these look great, wow I love the concept and with a runny eggs, oh heaven....


  13. Asparagus and eggs, like hand to glove. Personally, I love the ever-so-slight fizz of homemade of pickles.

  14. Asparagus is on sale now and ahve been buying loads! I have to try this!

  15. I sent her post over to a friend who has been growing purple asparagus this year- I love asparagus this way- and the eggs, oh yummy!

  16. I've been wanting to try some fermenting and I am going to try some cheesemaking, so it's all good!

  17. I too have been having so much fun with asparagus this year.

    I've never heard of preparing it like this. I would LOVE to try it. I'm wondering whether the whey from my homemade yogurt would work. Think so?

    Thanks for sharing another wonderful post, Heather...

  18. Very fun and interesting process too. Loving it with the eggs of course.