Preparation time: 40+ min
1.5 kg beetroots
1 l water
20 g salt
5 dried bay leaves
Wash the beets and cook them unpeeled in a large pot of water. Do not cook them for too long, approx. 20 - 30 minutes, just so they’re not completely hard. One of the characteristics of fermented products is that they retain their hardness.
If you'd like to ferment the beets without any heat treatment, then skip this step.
When the beets are cooked, peel them and slice them into very thin rings. Place the rings into a fermenting crock or a glass jar. Press the rings down with your hand as much as possible to allow as little air as possible in between.
Melt salt in one liter of water (a 2% solution is usually used for fermentation, which means 20 g salt/1 l water). Once the crock or a jar is filled with beets, pour the salt solution over. It is important that all the vegetables are submerged under the solution, as mold can quickly start to form on the pieces that stick out. To prevent pieces of vegetables from "floating" on the surface, various weights can be used. You can buy specially designed flat ceramic weights, you may use ceramic plates from cups, or make your own weight by pouring some water into a zip-lock bag and placing it on top of the vegetables.
Cover the pot. In the case of using a fermenting crock, pour the water into the rim where the lid goes, allowing the gases to escape and preventing air from entering. If using an ordinary glass jar, seal or cover only lightly.
Leave the crock or the jar at room temperature for 4 days. The speed of fermentation depends on the temperature of the room. If the room is warmer, the fermentation will be faster.
On the fourth day, try the vegetables. If you like the taste, you can finish with the fermentation process, but if you want a more acidic and distinct flavor, leave the crock/jar at room temperature for another day.
Transfer the vegetables from the fermenting pot into glass jars. Fill the jars as full as possible so that there is very little air left. Also, add the liquid in which the vegetables have fermented. Store the jars in a fridge because low temperature prevents further fermentation.
Advice: A few dried bay leaves can be added on top to push the vegetables into the brine while adding extra flavor to the ferment.
Use your imagination and tailor the recipe to your taste. Enjoy creativity and Bon Appetit.