Fast and fu­ri­ous

This week we are in­vited into a lit­tle Ukrainian secret: nat­u­rally quick-fer­mented cu­cum­bers with a rare in­ten­sity of flavour redo­lent of scorch­ing Ukrainian sum­mers

The Guardian - Cook - - A kitchen in Rome -

two-day fer­ment. Malosolni ogirky (lit­er­ally “lit­tle-salted gherkins” – those that are quickly pick­led) are in­cred­i­bly easy and a good in­tro­duc­tion to fer­men­ta­tion. All you need is some good water (no chlo­rine as it kills bac­te­ria) and or­ganic pro­duce (pes­ti­cides again get in the way of the process), salt, some flavour­ings and a max­i­mum of two summer days. My Russian-Kazakh friend Mari, when in a rush, also uses car­bon­ated water – ex­tra CO2 is be­lieved to be a cat­a­lyst for the process.

If your kitchen is hot, the malosolni will be ready within 24 hours. And then ... oh my. Slightly fizzy, del­i­cately sour, re­tain­ing fresh­ness but with enough funk to be served with rye bread and lardo, tam­ing the heat of a freshly downed ice-cold vodka shot. This is a clas­sic I’m giv­ing you here. But I have also gone fur­ther than that. Add some halved chilli and gar­lic slices to the fer­ment. When ready, finely dice the gherkin and his friends. Then, along­side a small spoon­ful of the fizzy brine, pour it over an oyster. Be­cause the fer­ment is so young, it won’t kill the del­i­cate oyster flavour. They’re

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