I was able to pick up a large quantity of garlic at my local farmer’s market a couple of weeks ago. I bought enough to fill up a quart sized container – so probably about 10-12 heads of garlic. I wanted to preserve it for later use and will also plant some in my garden to have some garlic in the spring. The method below is from the cookbook Real Food Fermentation – I used Alex’s pickle method and applied it to garlic. Check out my giveaway on now (until Nov 6) to win one of two of these cookbooks!
1 quart garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp salt – where to buy salt
2 Tbsp veggie ferment starter or whey (this is optional) – where to buy starters
Place unpeeled garlic cloves in a warm oven (under 200 degrees F) for about an hour. This will help you peel them faster. One reader suggested moving them around a stainless steel bowl to get the skins off.
In parallel, boil a pot of water (about a quart). This will remove the chlorine from the water if you do not have a filter. Let the water cool down to room temperature while your garlic is warming.
Place the peeled garlic in a Mason jar or your fermentation vessel of choice.
Mix the water with the salt and starter (I used a couple of tablespoons from some sauerkraut I have brewing) or whey. Note this is optional – the salt will do the job of fermenting the garlic on its own, the starter just speeds up the process. Pour the brine over the garlic and close your jar or vessel.
If you added the starter, ferment on your counter for 48 hours and then move to your refrigerator. If you didn’t add the starter then ferment for 5-7 days on your counter and then move to your refrigerator.
I am probably going to mince half of the garlic after it ferments for easy access all winter. I will leave the rest whole for roasting, etc.