This recipe is the work of Marina Jade Phillips, Fermenter extraordinaire, using our Pickle Helix and Fermenting Lids.
While these pickles are delicious on their own right out of the jar, try pulsing some in a food processor into a relish consistency for burgers or hot dogs or chop them into bite-sized chunks as part of a salad. Also, try a savory version of “ants on a log” by dipping in softened cream cheese and rolling in crushed peanuts.
A Note on “Clean”
A note on “clean” – In fermentation adventures, all equipment should be very clean. If you are unsure about the potentially sordid past of fermentation container, submerge it in water, bring to a boil for a few minutes, and follow with an air dry. A simple soap and hot water wash followed by air drying should be sufficient for a new jar.
- One bunch of celery, preferably organic. Conventional celery can have pesticide residues which may inhibit the growth of beneficial bacteria in the fermentation process.
- 2 tbsp canning salt. Refined, white, non-iodized, and clumpy.
- 1 – 2 tbsp whole caraway seeds.
- Half-gallon non-chlorinated water. Chlorine will inhibit the good bacteria we are attempting to foster.
A NOTE ON SALT
Save the fancy salts for cooking. Fermentation fairs best with boring salt—the minerals in pink or Celtic salts can leave veggies mushy or metallic. Make sure there are no anti-caking agents (if it pours when its raining, don’t use it!) or iodine. Look for refined sea salt or canning salt.
- 2 – 3 clean wide mouth quart jars. 2 is usually enough but venture a guess based on the size of the celery bunch.
- Trellis + Co. Fermentation lids and Pickle Helix springs.
2 | Cut the entire bunch of celery in half or in thirds–aiming for stalks that soldier together vertically in a quart jar with enough space left over at the top for a compressed helix spring (about 2″ from the rim). Feel free to include the leafy parts.
3 | Slice the thicker stalks lengthwise, in half, or even into spears (thinner makes quicker pickles and looks elegant besides). Insert the stalks upright into the jars, keeping them cozy but not crowded.
4 | Place a Pickle Helix spring in the jar, then pour cooled salt and seed water over the stalks and spring–enough to completely submerge the veggies while preserving about an inch and a half of empty space. The spring prevents the stalks from bobbing up and out of the jar. Compress the spring and tightly screw down a Trellis & Co air lock lid to hold the spring in place. Leave the jars at room temperature and away from direct sunlight.
5 | After three to five days, bubbles should begin to form –this is a sign that beneficial microbes are beginning to work their fermentation magic. After ten days, open the jar and give everything a good sniff. There should be a sour odor, the next sign that resident microbes are working to lower the pickles’ PH. Taste a spear. It will probably be salty and faintly sour. Over the next week, feel free to taste a spear or two. When the pickles are sour enough, put the jars in the refrigerator.
6 | Eat them!
Any leftover brine (the boiled and salted water called for in each recipe) can be stored in a clean jar on a pantry shelf indefinitely. Feel free to make a gallon at a time (keeping the ratio of one tablespoon of salt per quart) as it can be handy to have some around when the fermentation inspiration strikes!
2 | Consider the Surface:
There is always a possibility that the energetic action of bubbling fermentation will force some liquid out of the jar during the initial room temperature ferment. Putting the jar in a shallow bowl is a fine practice. We advise that you avoid leaving the jar on grandma’s heirloom hutch, just in case. Always leave some air at the top of the jar so there is room for microbial shenanigans.
Caraway Celery Pickles
This is the handy, printable version of the recipe. If you would like more details, tips, + tricks, visit our website at trellisandcompany.com.
- 1 bunch celery preferably organic
- 2 tbsp canning salt
- 1-2 tbsp whole caraway seeds
- 2-3 wide mouth quart jars
- 2-3 Trellis + Co. Pickle Helix springs + fermenting lids
Bring water and salt to a boil. Remove from heat. Add caraway seeds. Allow to cool at room temperature.
Cut the celery in half or thirds. They should fit vertically in a quart jar with a enough space left over for the compressed spring (about 2" from the rim). Leafy parts ok.
Add Pickle Helix spring into the jar, then pour cooled salt and seed water over the stalks and springs--enough to completely submerge the veggies and still leave 1.5" of empty space at the top. Compress the spring and tightly screw down a Trellis + Co. fermentation lid.
Leave the jars at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. After 3-5 days, bubbles should begin to form.
After 10 days, open the jar and give everything a good sniff. Taste a spear--it will probably be salty and faintly sour. Over the next week, feel free to taste a spear or two. When the pickles are sour enough, the pickles are complete and ready to be refrigerated and enjoyed.
Marina Jade Phillips
Fermenting Specialist, Interesting Human BeingBorn in Alaska and raised in Colorado, Marina discovered the joys of fermentation in Philadelphia in 2005. She spent the last decade wrangling a homestead in Northern California, fermenting everything from tomatoes to beans. Currently, she is pedaling and eating her way thru Mexico on her first but probably not last bicycle tour, toting a violin and at least one jar of sauerkraut.