Fermented Dandelion Stems

Dandelion greens are up and growing!  Our CSA members get them several times a year in their bag, and they always bring questions.  Historically, dandelion greens have been considered almost medicinal and are called a “digestive bitter”.  They have a bitter taste, however, when eaten prior to a meal, they prepare your stomach for food by eliciting appropriate gastric enzymes.  The bitter taste is the problem.  When I saw this post for fermented dandelion stems last week, I had to share it.  It came from Learning Herbs.   http://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/dandelion-recipes/  To begin with, remove the dandelion stems from the leaves.  Chop the leaves in thin ribbons and use them on the top of a salad.  Their bitter flavor tastes nice in a salad (similar to arugula), and the dressing mutes the bitter flavor a bit.  Save the beautiful stems and start fermenting!  We grow a lovely red stemmed Italian dandelion that is just lovely for this recipe.  

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch of dandelion stems
  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander
  • 1 bay leaf

Implement it:

Cut your stems the right length to fit in a widemouth pint jar, with the cut ends all facing down.  Pack them in the jars.  Make your brine by heating water to a boil and adding salt and all the spices.   When it reaches a boil, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.  The ingredients I listed above are copied from the Learning Herbs website.  You can make this recipe exactly as they wrote it, or you can make it your own by adding any spices you like, or don’t add any at all, just use salt and water.  When the brine is cool, pour it over your stems.  You could make this taste like dill pickles by using garlic and chopped fresh dill.  You can make it hot by adding more chili flakes or fresh hot peppers.  If you don’t have any dandelion greens, no problem!  You can use chard stems, kale stems, thin collard stems, or beet stems.  The concept is very flexible.  If you have a weight that you can add to each jar, to weigh down the stems and keep them below the water, drop it in there after you add the brine.  I use Pickle Pebbles for this, and they work great!  If you don’t have a weight, push the mixture below the water every day (keeping veggies below the water line is key in fermenting). Put a loose lid on the jar and let sit in a cool place for a week or so, then refrigerate.  I let mine sit on the counter out of direct light with our normal house temperature around 68 degrees.  That seems to work well.  Don’t put it near a heat vent, on the stove, in a dark closet, or in a sunny window.  Just a normal kitchen counter at a coolish room temperature.  I use a Pickle Pipe instead of a loose lid and get perfect results every time.  If you are new at fermenting, I suggest you get the Pickle Pebbles and Pickle Pipe.  Together they keep your mix below the water line, so it ferments well and doesn’t get yeast.  The Pickle Pipe releases air as things ferment, and keeps outside microbes from getting in.  If at the end of the week, you have a small layer of yeast on top, just scoop it off and put your jars in the fridge.  Enjoy!

Eat your fermented veggies, 

Robin

Fermented Dandelion Greens
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large bunch of dandelion stems
  2. 2 cups of filtered water
  3. 1 tablespoon salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  5. 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
  6. 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
  7. 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  8. 1 teaspoon whole coriander
  9. 1 bay leaf
Instructions
  1. Cut your stems the right length to fit in a widemouth pint jar, with the cut ends all facing down.
  2. Pack them in the jars.
  3. Make your brine by heating water to a boil and adding salt and all the spices.
  4. When it reaches a boil, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  5. When the brine is cool, pour it over your stems.
  6. You could make this taste like dill pickles by using garlic and chopped fresh dill.
  7. You can make it hot by adding more chili flakes or fresh hot peppers.
  8. If you don’t have any dandelion greens, no problem!
  9. You can use chard stems, kale stems, thin collard stems, or beet stems. The concept is very flexible. If you have a weight that you can add to each jar, to weigh down the stems and keep them below the water, drop it in there after you add the brine. I use Pickle Pebbles for this, and they work great! If you don’t have a weight, push the mixture below the water every day (keeping veggies below the water line is key in fermenting). Put a loose lid on the jar and let sit in a cool place for a week or so, then refrigerate. I let mine sit on the counter out of direct light with our normal house temperature around 68 degrees. That seems to work well. Don’t put it near a heat vent, on the stove, in a dark closet, or in a sunny window. Just a normal kitchen counter at a coolish room temperature.
  10. I use a Pickle Pipe instead of a loose lid and get perfect results every time. If you are new at fermenting, I suggest you get the Pickle Pebbles and Pickle Pipe. Together they keep your mix below the water line, so it ferments well and doesn’t get yeast. The Pickle Pipe releases air as things ferment, and keeps outside microbes from getting in. If at the end of the week, you have a small layer of yeast on top, just scoop it off and put your jars in the fridge. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. The ingredients I listed above are copied from the Learning Herbs website. You can make this recipe exactly as they wrote it, or you can make it your own by adding any spices you like, or don’t add any at all, just use salt and water.
Bell's Best Berries http://bellsbestberries.com/
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