Fermenting Seasonally: Fall Fennel-Celery Salad Topper Recipe

| 10/2/2019 6:28:00 PM

I like to have a nice green salad for lunch each day, but often don’t because of the time it takes to prep the various toppings. My aim with this recipe was to make preparing salad not only a breeze but to add nutrition and flavor by the fermentation process. This salad topper can be enjoyed on its own or tossed with lettuce, a bit of cheese, and a few chopped nuts.

The two main ingredients in this recipe, fennel and celery, both enjoy cool weather, so you will begin to see fennel at the markets in early fall. That’s when you know it’s time to make a few quarts of this salad topper to ensure effortless salads throughout the winter.

When purchasing fennel, look for small, heavy, white bulbs that are firm and have tightly packed layers that are free of cracks or browning. The stalks should be crisp, with feathery, bright-green fronds.

Learning to preserve produce by fermenting seasonally allows you to:

  1. Create flavor packed recipes. Recipe development is inspired by what I find each week at my farmer’s market. Seeing market stands bursting with fennel, celery, corn, and red onions one Saturday created this perfect combination for winter salads.
  2. Maximize nutrition. Fresh-picked produce has more nutrients than buying that same produce, shipped from across the globe. In addition, during fermentation the digestive action of the bacteria not only increases the levels of existing nutrients, but in many cases generates additional nutrients as by-products of their metabolism.
  3. Ensure fermentation success. When you ferment with fresh-picked produce, you stack the deck in your favor for success. From the moment produce is picked, bacteria begin to break it down. Not only is fresh produce less likely to mold, but the hard-working bacteria are able to generate a higher nutrient profile and a greater depth of flavor.

jar of fermented salad topper

Fermented Fennel-Celery Salad Topper

Makes 1 quart (liter)

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