Recipe: Lacto-fermented Spinach

Fermentation modifies the sometimes bitter taste of spinach, making it more sour and salty instead. The lemon adds a fresh bright flavor.



  • Enough spinach to tightly fill a wide-mouth quart jar, rinsed lightly, stems removed
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup unfiltered water
  • 1 Tbsp. whey or brine from a previous ferment (optional)
  • ½ lemon with peel, thinly sliced


  1. Cut the spinach into strips, a bit wider than those you would cut for sauerkraut.
  2. In a large bowl or crock, layer salt with spinach and garlic, tossing them together with your hands.
  3. When it is all in the bowl, press the ingredients down a bit with a fist; cover the bowl lightly with a towel. Allow the bowl to sit for 15 to 30 minutes to let the juices begin to draw and blend.
  4. Take the towel off now and again to pound the spinach down with clean hands, a Cabbage Crusher or similar utensil.
  5. Begin packing handfuls of the salted spinach into a clean quart jar. Periodically add a slice of lemon, layering and pressing the lemons and the spinach into the jar.
  6. Once the jar is filled with the spinach mixture and the lemons, pour water in slowly, only adding enough to bring the liquid level up to 1 inch away from the mouth of the jar.
  7. Cover jar with a clean lid. Ferment at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, burping and pressing down the spinach daily.
  8. Transfer to cool storage.