A Nepalese method of fermenting greens. I’ve wanted to share this recipe for a few years, but a long stretch of sunny days is required–at least a week, and it seems that we’re having one of those summers now.
This is a very intense dish. For true greens lovers and lovers of fermented foods.
Once fermented, a jar of this keeps in the fridge for a long time. Use it sparingly as a pickle with meals, or as a quick bite right from the jar.
The hardy greens work best here, the Brassicas especially–also beet greens, turnip greens…
bunches of greens
a pint or a quart jar, depending on the quantity of greens
a pestle or other tubular implement, for crushing and compressing
1. Wash greens. Don’t bother drying. Stem if you like, but it’s not necessary. Lay out on a clean surface in the sun for a few hours until they’re quite limp and wilted. Bring them into the house or work outside. Squeeze the greens with your hands to get the greens’ juices flowing, as it were, but try not to rupture the leaf membranes.
2. Now, take a leaf and stuff it into the jar. Really stuff it in. Take another leaf and do the same. Take the pestle or other implement and jam, crush, compress the leaves. You want the greens to start releasing their juice. Continue the process. You’ll be surprised at the quantity of greens you can stuff into one jar. You also want the leaves to be covered by their released liquid, so try to get the liquid to the level you’re at before adding more. You want to fill the jar, leaving about an inch or so of headspace. Before putting the lid on the jar, make sure there is liquid over the top of the last layer of greens, otherwise mold will develop.
3. Once lidded, put in a sunny, outdoor spot for a least a week. Two to three weeks is even better, more hardcore. Open the jar, and smell. It should smell sharp, fermented. Taste, too. If you like the taste, stop the fermentation, otherwise let them go for up to the three weeks.
4. They’re fine to eat now, or refrigerate and eat over time. They’ll continue to slowly ferment, even in the fridge.
Thanks to Sandor Ellix Katz and his awesome book, Wild Fermentation, for the inspiration.