Beets invariably produce more plants than convenient for good root development, so thinning them is a must. Fortunately, the baby plants, including the greens are entirely edible even at this stage and make tasty additions to salads and stir fries.
I decided to ferment my most recent thinnings with fresh onion blossoms. While a blooming onion means an unusable bulb, they do flower into very pretty white poufs. Like garlic and chive blossoms, they are also edible, with an oniony flavor, so time for experiments! Fresh Daikon Radish rounds out this easy garden ferment.
Beet thinnings or beet greens
1 large onion blossom (or substitute green onion)
Create the brine: boil water and allow it to cool. Dissolve salt in the water. (The brine should contain between 1 and 3 tablespoons of salt per quart of water. I used 1 1/2 tablespoons for mine for moderate saltiness. How much brine you make depends on the size of your batch)
Thoroughly wash the beet thinnings and chop. Peel the daikon and cut into match sticks. Cut the onion blossoms off the hard center (it’s ok to keep the little stems that attach them).
Sterilize a glass jar with boiling water (I used an old honey jar with a swing lid). Layer the radish, beets, and onion flowers into the jar, pressing them down periodically.
Pour the cooled brine over the veggies until everything is submerged. Add a weight to keep the ferment submerged. (I used a garden rock that I sterilized in boiling water for 15 minutes)
Allow the jar to ferment at room temperature for 2-3 days, opening the jar every day to allow the air to escape and tasting for doneness. Don’t overfill like I did, or your ferment may leak as it bubbles. When the ferment has reached the desired flavor and degree of sourness, refrigerate to slow further fermentation. Because of the beets, this ferment develops a lovely purple color.