Brine Pickled Brussels Sprouts

I had a small garden this year and brussels sprouts are one of the few plants that I had.  It was a bit of a failed experiment and some flea beetles infested the plants and turned them into skeletons.  They didn’t completely die but they were very pathetic looking.  Anyone know how to battle flea beetles organically?
So I’m left to buying brussels sprouts from the store if I’m to have any this year.  I did get a few from my plants but not enough to be worthwhile.  Oh well, maybe next year.
Brussels sprouts are a member of the cabbage family and should be treated as such which is why I’m revising this recipe.  If you tried this when I posted it earlier and liked it, you’ll love it now.  Just know that it takes a bit longer.
Brine Pickled Brussels Sprouts
  • 1-2lb Brussels Sprouts, rinsed and halved
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2% salt brine (19 grams of sea salt per quart of filtered water)
1. In an anaerobic vessel like  Pickl-it, layer brussels sprouts, shallots and red pepper flakes.  You want the vessel at least 75% full but no higher than an inch below the shoulder.  Pour salt brine over the top to the shoulder.  Using a weight, push the veggies below the brine.  They like to float so I found using a glass shot glass on top of the dunker helps keep them down.
2. Leave at room temp for about 5-7 days or until bubble activity stops.  Like sauerkraut, you’ll want to move the brussels sprouts to a cooler location, ideally between 45-55F.  A root cellar or in the door of your fridge is usually a good place.
3. Let brussels sprouts ferment for at least 10-12 weeks in the cool location.  At this point they will be less salty and shouldn’t have a cabbage taste anymore.

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1 comment to Brine Pickled Brussels Sprouts

  • You can exclude flea beetles by covering the plants with row cover fabric (also known as remay). It’s possible to fashion an inexpensive frame from concrete reinforcing wire (make an inverted “U” and stick the ends into the ground), PVC pipe, or wood. Put the fabric over that and clip it on so it won’t blow around. Make sure to put rocks or bricks or something of that nature around the edges of the fabric, or cover them with dirt, so the little buggers don’t sneak their way in. Alternatively, use screening from the home improvement or hardware store (assuming the holes are small enough that the buggies can’t fly in). Screening has the advantage that you can see in more easily, thusly allowing you to keep an eye on things as they grow throughout the season. I prefer it for that reason. Be sure to cover your plants immediately after planting, ideally the same day they go into the ground.

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