Navy Bean Miso

I had cooked beans leftover from a class on pressure canning that I taught yesterday, so this morning I turned them into miso. I used the basic recipe from Timogarden; looking forward to trying this in a couple years! Koji rice was from my local Fujiya grocery store; easier to buy it frozen than to inoculate my own. 

I-hate-fennel Fennel Pickles

I hate fennel. Love licorice, love ouzo, loooove sambuca… But an anise-flavoured vegetable? No thanks. 

As the recipient of a CSA box, however, I find myself with a couple bulbs of fennel at least once a summer, and am always looking for things to do with them. Sometimes I give them away… And sometimes, to be perfectly honest, I let them get so sad and gross that they go straight from the fridge into the compost. 

But a couple weeks ago, when faced with two small fennel bulbs and no space in the fridge to continue to hide them, I did what I often do with random veggies: Chopped them up, added other flavours and some salt, and let it ferment.

Today I tasted my concoction and am so thrilled with it! It’s a delicious savoury pickle, with a hint of anise but mostly just salty and sour.

The lime gives it a kick of summer; I’ll eat this with tortilla chips, like a salsa. 

I-hate-fennel Fennel Pickles

  • 2 cups chopped fennel
  • 3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced scapes or garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pickling salt
  • Water to cover

Combine everything expect the water and mix well. Place in fermentation vessel of your choice; I used a 500 mL glass canning jar with an airlock lid. Add water until veggies are just covered, poking with a chopstick to get out the air bubbles. Cover and let ferment at room temperature for 1-2 weeks, or until action in airlock stops. Store in a cool place. 

Canning in vintage jars

One of the benefits about being passionate about preserving food is that people give me things: Usually it’s extra fruit or veg that they can’t use, but sometimes… It’s canning supplies! I was lucky to be given a hundred or so of these vintage gem jars, which have a mouth size of 78mm. That’s between the more common mouth sizes of 70mm (small or regular mouth) and 85mm (wide mouth). The jars are no longer manufactured, but you can still buy metal lids and rings at large retailers such as Canadian Tire. Along with the jars came several dozen original glass lids, deep zinc threaded rings, and brand new, in box, rubber gaskets… In short, everything needed to can! 

So, of course I had to do this. 

Catsup, or tomato ketchup… I use the recipe from the Joy of Cooking. 

Glad I can give these old jars new life.