It’s been a long, long while since I’ve done a veg ferment here, but whether or not the calendar agrees, spring has sprung and I’m in the mood to pickle spring things. Furthermore, I’ve been Irish-American by marriage for 5.5 years now, and this pickle is a lovely, light shade of spring green. Perhaps it’s not the shade of a St. Patrick’s Day parade, but I still consider it a respectful nod to St. Patrick’s Day.
Celery may be a surprising vegetable to ferment (or maybe not, you tell me). It ferments very nicely, especially when done with another vegetable in the mix, and the flavors are super fun. It generally remains quite crispy, unless the stalk are very thin (garden- or farm stand-style) or very old and reedy. Although I’m a fan of fermenting vegetables that are a touch past their prime, I don’t recommend fermenting those older celery stalks. The aforementioned reediness gets in the way of my enjoyment, and they don’t tend to crisp up as well as some back of the crisper vegetables do (see photos of the radish I used for this ferment).
Celery Radish Pickles Recipe
Yield: 1 quart
If you don’t have access to heirloom radishes or daikons, you can absolutely substitute whatever radishes you have on hand. Just be aware that the color will be impacted. Green meat radishes (pictured) are pretty spicy, but spicy radishes aren’t a requirement for this recipes. If you’re new to fermented pickling, check out the Pickle Basics Guide before you get going.
- 4 large stalks celery
- 1/2 pound (225 g) radish, preferably green meat or daikon, but any radish will do
- ~2 cups (470 ml) brine (1 tablespoon (19 g) of kosher salt + 2 cups ( 470 ml) filtered water)
- Rinse and trim celery stalks and radish. remove any soft or unappealing spots on the vegetables, but leave the peels otherwise in tact.
- If using a cylindrical radish (such as daikon or green meat) slice into 1-inch thick rounds and quarter each round. If using small cherry bell radishes, halve. If using larger, heirloom radishes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes. Cut celery stalks crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces.
- Place half of the celery pieces into a quart jar. Place the radish quarters on top, then add the remaining celery. This is particularly nice looking with daikon or bright colored radishes (black radishes are great) but your brine will be murkier with anything but white or green and you won’t necessarily get the pale green colored pickles that make me sing spring.
- When all the vegetables are in the jar, there should be roughly 1 1/2 inches of space left at the top of the jar. Pour brine into the jar until the vegetables are just covered. Apply your weight, cover your jar and leave at room temperature for 5 days to 2 weeks.
- If you’re new to fermented pickling, taste at 7 days. If they taste sour enough, they’re done. If you think they could use a bit more oomph, put the weight back on, cover and let sit for several more days. I prefer these at 2 weeks.
- Once they’ve reached your desired acidity, remove the weight, close the jar lid tightly and store in the fridge.