Photo by Grace Stufkosky
AN ANSWER FOR WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR WINTER ROOT VEGETABLES BESIDES ROASTING THEM
One winter when I lived in Queens, I was grateful for the opportunity to participate in a winter CSA. It consisted of four or five deliveries throughout the season of about 15 pounds at a time of assorted root vegetables grown on Long Island. I have a particularly vivid memory of one of the deliveries including a turnip the size of my head. Although the standard protocol for this sort of glut of winter root veggies is roasting — and roast I did — I’ve also come to love the character that they bring to ferments.
Unlike cabbage, which I don’t have to tell you makes an irresistible kimchi but doesn’t have a particularly strong flavor on its own, this combination of turnips and parsnips has a sweet, nutty, and spicy flavor that really shines through in the finished product. The traditional kimchi spices of gochugaru, ginger, and garlic give this all the mouthwatering umami of a cabbage-based kimchi, with the added complexity of the ’snips. Plus, it’s a nice option for something other than roasting all those dead-of-winter roots.
Parsnips photo from Adobe Stock
- 215 grams parsnips sliced into 1⁄16-inch-thick coins with a food processor or mandoline or as thin as you can with a knife
- 500 grams turnips, sliced into 1⁄16-inch-thick coins with a food processor or mandoline or as thin as you can with a knife
- 25 grams ginger, grated but not peeled
- 10 grams minced garlic
- 15 grams salt
- 12 grams salt-free gochugaru Korean chili flakes
Gochugaru photo from Adobe Stock
- Basic fermenting supplies
- Mandoline or food processor (optional)
Yield: 1 scant quart
- In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the parsnips, turnips, ginger, garlic, and salt. Reserve the gochugaru for now.
- Use your hands to stir the ingredients together, then work the salt into the produce using your hands for about 2 minutes. If you’ve ever massaged kale for a salad, that’s the motion you want to employ here. In slightly less technical terms, it’s basically smooshing. The vegetables will begin releasing their liquid.
- Use a wooden spoon to stir in the gochugaru.
- Use your hands to pack the produce tightly into a quart mason jar, one handful at a time.
- Once the produce is packed into the jar, push it down with your fist, the back of a wooden spoon, or both, a few times.
- Now the produce should be just covered with its own brine.
- Secure the jar with a mason jar airlock system and allow the kimchi to ferment for up to 2 weeks. Begin tasting for doneness after 3 days.
- Cover, label, and refrigerate for long-term storage.
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Reprinted with permission from Beyond Canning: New Techniques, Ingredients, and Flavors to Preserve, Pickle, and Ferment Like Never Before by Autumn Giles, photos by Grace Stufkosky, and published by Voyageur Press, 2016. Buy this book from our store: Beyond Canning.