While I've enjoyed the trend of books that integrate food preservation and everyday cookery, I'm a geek at heart, and will always go in for a deep dive on a single topic. Longtime Punk Domestics contributor Amanda Feiffer of Phickle has dug deep indeed, with a colorful, approachable book on fermenting vegetables dubbed, appropriately, Ferment Your Vegetables.
Kraut and kimchi are the backbone of the book, but Feifer goees beyond the obvious and puts forth interesting flavor combinations. Take, for example, a Mediterranean Kraut of cabbage, red bell peppers, kalamata olives and feta cheese, all layered festively with slices of eggplant; a sort of nouveau Greek salad with a probiotic punch. Or take the Carrot Cake Kraut, with nuts and warming spices that hint at the cake, a "dessert kraut," if you will. There's even a Pumpkin Spice Kimchi for the latte crowd.
Feifer digs deeper toward the back of the book, with an entire section dedicated to alternative methods of fermenting vegetables. While small-batch fermenting in mason jars has become de rigueur, Feiffer expounds the virtues of large-batch ferments in crocks. With a treatise on choosing the right type of crock for your projects; to tips on salt, weight and tannins; to storing the finished product, Feiffer enables even novice fermenters to take on bigger, more satifsying projects, such as whole cobs of corn.
From there she steps even farther outside the norm with salt-free ferments in broth, tea, or coconut water, and even touches on Indian-style oil pickles. This truly sets her book apart from the pack.
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