Dandelion greens might be known for their bitterness but the Fermentation process mellows this beautifully. I love adding dandelion petals to the mix, giving little flashes of yellow. This is called a ‘krautchi’ because it’s made like a sauerkraut but uses the chilli, ginger and garlic that are now synonymous with kimchi. It’s delicious with noodle, in salads, on cheese toasties or tossed with lentils or grains.
200g dandelion leaves, including some dandelion petals if you like
4g sea salt
1 garlic clove, peeled and very finely chopped
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 small chilli, very finely chopped
1 tsp fennel and/or coriander seeds
You will also need:
A 200g jar with and airtight lid
Wash the dandelion leaves thoroughly (you don’t need to wash any petals). Reserve 3 or 4 larger leaves to cap the mix. Chop the remaining leaves: cut them roughly for a more textures kraut, or chop them finely for a smoother finish and faster ferment. Add the petals, if using, and the salt, and massage it in.
In a small bowl, mix the garlic, ginger and chilli to a paste and add as much or as little as you like to the massaged greens. The spicy heat will mellow as the mixture ferments but you can taste a little bit raw to get a rough idea of how hot it’s going to be. Once you’re happy with the spicing, fold in the fennel and/or coriander seeds.
Pack the mixture into the jar, excluding as much air as possible; it should come close to the top of the jar. Lay the reserved leaves on top, tucking them around the sides of the jar, to help keep everything submerged under brine. The greens should start releasing their own briny juices as you pack them in, but if there’s not enough liquid to come right to the top of the jar, dissolve 1g sea salt in 50ml filtered water and pour this brine into the jar until it comes right to the top.
Seal the jar and set it on a plate to catch any juices that might bubble over during the fermentation process. Leave to ferment at room temperature for 5-10 days, or you can leave it longer for a funkier flavour.
Once you’re happy with the taste, transfer it to the fridge to arrest fermentation. As long as the krautchi is submerged under a layer of brine, it should keep for months.
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