10 Ways to Turn Your Kitchen into a Fermentation Larder

Everything is better in brine

When it comes to fermentation, we're just a touch obsessed. If there's something that can be fermented (hint: everything), we think it should be. It may sound intimidating (and there are risks involved, to be sure), but it doesn't have to be a challenge. Executive editor Stacy Adimando would go so far as to say that "the art of fermenting vegetables is as simple as soaking them in salt and water, or...rubbing them in salt so they form a natural brine." Get some spices involved to kick your brining up a notch. Once you get your base down, get ready for plenty of soups, dips, and sauces to take your ribs to the next level. Check out our 10 favorite fermentation recipes below.

Seed Crackers with Lacto-Fermented Brine

seed crackers
Seed Crackers with Lacto-Fermented BrineHeami Lee

Chia seeds! Lacto-fermented brine! It sounds like hippie food, but these seed crackers are addictive. Get the recipe for Seed Crackers with Lacto-Fermented Brine »

Base Brine for Fermented Vegetables

squash
Base Brine for Fermented VegetablesHeami Lee

This squash will be ready after two weeks in brine. Get the recipe for Base Brine for Fermented Vegetables »

Fermented Carrot Borscht with Ginger and Turmeric

Fermented Carrot Borscht with Ginger and Turmeric
Fermented Carrot Borscht with Ginger and TurmericHeami Lee

"Borscht was traditionally a fermented soup," says Cortney Burns, who adapted the classic beet base to one featuring a combination of fresh and fermented carrots and beets instead. Get the recipe for Fermented Carrot Borscht with Ginger and Turmeric »

Short Ribs with Fermented Pepper Harissa

Short Ribs with Fermented Pepper Harissa
Short Ribs with Fermented Pepper HarissaHeami Lee

Tangy fermented pepper paste, the base of Burns' harissa, can be customized to be as sweet or spicy as you prefer. Get the recipe for Short Ribs with Fermented Pepper Harissa »

Indian Lime Pickles

Indian Lime Pickles
Indian Lime PicklesTodd Coleman

Tangy, tender lime pickles are a flavorful staple of India, a condiment that adds sour, spicy punch to meals. Get the recipe for Indian Lime Pickles »

Fermented Raspberry Shrub

Fermented Raspberry Shrub
Fermented Raspberry ShrubChris Granger

This berry-infused syrup made with vinegar adds a balancing zing to all kinds of drinks, most famously the Roffignac, a sweet-tart cocktail named for New Orleans' last French mayor. Allowing it to ferment (as opposed to cooking it on the stovetop and using it immediately) makes it even tangier. Get the recipe for Fermented Raspberry Shrub »

Apple Butter with Cinnamon and Cloves

apple butter
Apple Butter with Cinnamon and ClovesRinne Allen

At the Glade Hill Cannery in Franklin County, Virginia, master canner Ronald David helps his neighbors process local heritage apples—like tart, vinous Staymans—into dense, jammy apple butter (see "A Living Larder"). Get the recipe for Apple Butter with Cinnamon and Cloves »

Mixed Baby Vegetable Pickles

Mixed Baby Vegetable Pickles
Mixed Baby Vegetable PicklesTodd Coleman

The recipe for this lacto-fermented mixed pickle is flexible: Use whatever vegetables happen to inspire you at the market, and feel free to tweak the seasonings. The benefit of using baby vegetables is not only aesthetic; because of their small size, they cure faster. Also because of their small size, and their sweet, mild flavor, we don't want to use too much salt in the brine: As a safeguard, we add just a bit of white wine vinegar. Get the recipe for Mixed Baby Vegetable Pickles »

Spiced Hard Apple Cider

DIY spiced hard apple cider
Spiced Hard Apple CiderChelsea Pomales

This recipe was adapted from True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home by Emma Christensen. Sterilize every spoon, jug, bucket, cap, or bowl you use when home brewing to avoid contamination. Get the recipe for Spiced Hard Apple Cider »

Quick Basic Kimchi

Quick Basic Kimchi
Quick Basic KimchiMatt Taylor-Gross

Getting tired of your plain winter root vegetables? Throw some homemade kimchi on there to spice up a standard dish. Get the recipe for Quick Basic Kimchi »