This is a simple fermentation, using just salt and water, specifically a 5% brine solution. It’s still a pickle, though to me, that often means a brine with vinegar. You can use any greens here, and if you like, you could chop up some roots and add them to the jar. I usually just go with greens, some garlic, and a hot pepper or two. It needs to sit out at room temperature for a week, preferably in a room where the temperature is between 70 and 78ºF, which is considered the ideal brining temperature. If you live in an environment hotter than this, you’ll have to ferment the greens in the fridge; if the air temperature is cooler, then you may need to let the jar sit out a couple of days longer (or not). I enjoy these greens alongside meals.
4 1/2 c water
10 t (or 3 T plus 1 t) kosher or sea salt (don’t used iodized salt)
1 large bunch greens, or as need to fill a quart jar, stemmed if necessary, coarsely chopped
chopped garlic, optional
fresh hot pepper or hot pepper flakes, optional
chopped roots, optional
1. Bring water and salt to the boil or to the point where the salt has totally dissolved into the water. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
2. Cram or stuff greens into a clean, sterilized (if you like) one-quart jar, along with any of the optional vegetables. You want to fill the jar leaving a good inch of headspace.
3. Pour the cooled brine over the greens. You will notice that the greens will float and move into the headspace area. Prevent this by taking a wad of wax paper or saran wrap and jamming it into the mouth of the jar, submerging the greens. Reserve cooled brine. Keep in a jar at room temperature to top off the jar of greens, if necessary, during the week-long fermentation.
4. Loosely cap the jar. This will allow carbon dioxide to escape and prevent brine overflow/explosion. Or, put the cap on tightly but remember to loosen once or twice a day to allow the gas to escape.
5. Check the appearance of the brine in the greens jar. If it’s clear, clear with green coloring from the greens, all is well. If it’s cloudy, then bacteria has invaded and it’s best to discard the contents and begin anew.
6. Refrigerate after the 7 day fermentation. It’s good to eat now and will continue to ferment, though more slowly, in the fridge.