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Fermented collard greens

Fermented Greens Recipe (Whole Leaf Collard)

  • Author: Gigi Mitts
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes


This is a quick, crock ferment. It tastes great but you must make sure not to ferment them for too long, otherwise they’d end up mushy and rotten.



  • 2 to 3 bunches of collard greens (approximately 900 to 1350 grams of leaves depending on their size) – Collards and other leafy greens are available all year-round. But in cold-climates, they are best in winters since they are sweet and juicy then. During the heat of summer, they tend to be tough and bitter. When selecting collards and mustard greens, select leaves that are pliable and deep green in color. Avoid leaves that feel brittle.
  • 34 garlic cloves peeled and smashed.
  • ¼ cup or 64 g of kosher salt. Check out my guide on the best pickling salt to use.
  • 2 quarts of water.


  1. Shred the leaves and remove their stems. You can reserve the stems for another use; they pickle well on their own too.
  2. Wash the leaves. Throw away ones that appear wilted. Reserve two large leaves to place on the top of the crock.
  3. You can roll up the leaves together and place stacks of rolled up leaves in the crock.  Do not overcrowd the crock. That would damage the leaves and also make it difficult to remove individual leaves resulting in a mushy ferment. 
  4. Toss in the garlic cloves in the crock.
  5. Dissolve the salt and water and pour this brine over the leaves. You might need more or less brine depending on your crock and the quantity of vegetables. Use a concentration of 1 tbsp kosher salt per 2 cups of filtered water for 3.5% brine.
  6. Place the reserved leaves on top of the brine. Make sure that these leaves get submerged in the brine too. Place a light weight, such as small ceramic plates or bowls, to weigh down the leaves. Avoid using standard crock weights. I feel they weigh the leaves down too much and that could result in mushy and wilted leaves.
  7. Allow to ferment for 4-5 days, at room temperature. Enjoy the greens right away.
  8. You can store them in the refrigerator for about a week.