Radish Fennel Ferment

Give spring a taste with this pink-bloom inspired radish ferment.


This recipe came out of my desire for a ferment that welcomed spring. I wanted cool and crisp flavors, and fancied a ferment that was light in both taste and color, complementing the light-pink and white blossoms of spring.

Red radishes are quick-growing in cool temperatures (they’re one of the earliest available local vegetables in a temperate climate), and they’re a food we should be eating to help our bodies come out of winter. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, radishes are a wonderful tonic for the liver and gallbladder. Radishes are believed to break up fat and phlegm, and regulate bile flow — in a sense, consuming radishes gets your juices going.

This ferment is unpretentious. I chose the light and aromatic flavor of fresh fennel to complement the more watery, spicy radish. Nutritionally, fennel is great for digestion. It’s also rich in vitamin K2, which is important in your diet if you’re taking oral vitamin D.

Very simple to make, this ferment can be enjoyed in as few as 3 to 4 days. It’s tasty sprinkled on a green salad or alongside protein-rich foods, such as hard-boiled eggs. Yield: 1 pint.


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