Lacto-Fermented Broccoli Spears

glass quart jar

organic broccoli (find 2-3 heads with very long stems if you can, about 2-3 pounds)

1 clove garlic

2-3 fresh sprigs of dill leaves

1 t. black peppercorns

2 c. water (filtered or unchlorinated by leaving out in open container overnight)

2 t. unrefined sea salt

Start with clean equipment--make sure your quart jar, cutting board, knives and hands have been washed and rinsed thoroughly.

Mix the water and salt in a container and stir until salt is dissolved. Set aside. Cut all florets from the broccoli and set aside for later use.

Start slicing and carving the stems into spears. This is actually not too difficult, and it went more quickly than I expected. It doesn't matter if they look perfect, just try to get them relatively the same size.

*note: stem sizes can vary. If you don't end up with enough spears to fill a quart jar, try filling a wide-mouthed pint jar and halving the recipe. 

Place the dill sprigs, garlic and pepper in the quart jar, then pack the spears in until they are within one inch from the rim of the jar. Don't be afraid to pack them in tightly. Pour brine over the spears, making sure everything is submerged, and then place a weight over the contents. You want an inch of head space from the top of the weight/brine to the lid.

Place a lid on the jar. I recommend using an airlock for ease (fermentools are my favorite). If not using an airlock, be sure to loosen the lid on the jar every few days to allow gas to escape. Set jar aside, avoiding direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

Start tasting the pickles after about 5 days to see if they are to your liking. I find these are a quick ferment, and ready to eat after about 2 weeks. When the flavor is perfect to you, remove the dill from the jar (it tends to get mushy and weird when fermented) and place the pickles in the fridge (removing airlock if you used one) Can be kept in fridge for 3-6 months.