Lactofermented Chard Stems

What’s up my dudes! I’ve tried something a little funky because I have an abundance chard in my backyard that my landlord planted and left for me to munch on while she is living in her summer house in Mexico. I have developed a deeply penetrating love for lacto fermentation in the last year and I will attempt pretty much anything because let’s be honest – IT’S MAGIC.

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There are a few basic steps to lacto-fermenting vegetables and its incredibly simple. Like I’ve mentioned in some of my previous blog posts… I am not really a recipe person. I look for frameworks on how to do things and then I experiment in my own way!

Things you will need:

  1. A sterile mason jar
  2. Chard stems (duh)
  3. Filtered Water
  4. Salt
  5. Spices of your choice!
  6. A fermenting silicone lid (optional) allows gas to escape without letting anything in

First you will need to gather your product. I cut the stems in half and made them roughly the size of carrot sticks. You can pour boiling water into the mason jar and let it sit for awhile to sterilize it. Once you’ve done this you can prepare your brine.

For the brine you will need salt and filtered water. Choose whatever kind of salt you want. Sea salt, kosher salt, pickling salt, your salty attitude… Dissolve the salt in luke warm water over the stove. It should be pretty salty. You pretty much need a tablespoon per cup depending on the size of the mason jar you intend to use.

SO the spices. I found some amazing Merquen smoked pepper which totally blasted me to the past from when my friend was living in Chile and sent care packages of Pisco and Merquen pepper! I added this, a few springs of fresh dill, some smashed garlic cloves, and a few brown mustard seeds.

Nicely stack the stems in the jar with the spices in the bottom and pour the brine over the top. Make sure there is no air for the product to sneak up and hang out in or you can risk mold contaminating your fermentation creation! You can also check it every couple days and add water if needed. Some people use weights to keep the product down, I have not tried them.

Once you pour the brine and secure the lid, you don’t NEED the silicone tops, but they are nice, you can leave your jar in a cool dark place for about 24 hours to get things going. After that you can leave it on the counter for 2-3 days depending on your preference! If you have normal aluminum tops on your jar, leave it on loosely so gas can escape! Obviously the best way to tell if it is ready is to taste it!

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Before the magic happens!

 

 

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