Fermented Dandelion Stems

I love spring. The sun is out more, people are out on their bikes, walking with their loved ones, and all the plants are starting to come up. And for me I get pretty excited about dandelion! Sometimes I forage for the flowers and I use them to make Dandelion Mead, other times I forage some of the greens in Prospect Park, and other times I buy a nice fresh bunch from the Food Coop and when I do, I have lots of thick fiberous stems to deal with. Do I cook them? Do I put them in the compost? Nope. I ferment them! So, here is my quick and easy probiotic rich Fermented Dandelion Stem recipe!

- Dandelion Stems

- 1 quart jar

- Red chili flakes

- Garlic cloves

- Lemon

- Sea Salt

First, I chop off the big stems at the bottom of the leaves. I like my stems like big chunks...sorta like eating pickles. In the bottom of a quart jar I put 1 garlic clove, a pinch of red chili flakes, and then take 1/2 a lemon and squeeze the juice in and plop the entire 1/2 in the jar. Next I line the stems up inside the jar until I can't fit anymore. I then dissolve 2 tbs of sea salt in a small shot of hot water. And then add that to a jar of cold water and then I pour it over the stems into the jars until the stems are covered. You can then cover it with a cloth and rubber band, a lid, or in my case I used an airlock.

I let mine ferment for about two weeks and waited for the brine to get foggy. You could let yours go longer it you like. I find the best way to know if you want to stop a ferment is to open the jar and taste it every few days while it ferments. This way you can see the flavor develop and make it how you like it best.