Source: Elizabeth Vecchiarelli, Preserved
Recipe Type: Appetizers and Sides | Seasons: Spring, Winter
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on March 18, 2018.
Makes 1 gallon
2 large heads cabbage
4 tablespoons sea salt
Optional spices to taste (coriander, caraway, mustard seed and juniper berries are classic, but feel free to experiment!)
Half gallon jar to pack the kraut
To prepare the cabbage: Peel off two outer layers of cabbage and save. Cut out the core and finely chop. Chop or shred cabbage leaves. Mix all cut cabbage with sea salt in a large bowl. Squeeze the cabbage and salt together with your hands, kneading it thoroughly until it releases its juice. Let sit for an hour to draw out more liquid.
To prepare the kraut: Pack the kraut tightly into your clean gallon vessel using your fist or a wooden tamper to ensure that there is some liquid above the kraut. Lay the two reserved whole cabbage leaves on top of the packed kraut and submerge in the liquid. If there is not enough liquid to cover, add just enough water to submerge. Be sure to leave about an inch of headspace from the top of the vessel as carbon dioxide, which is naturally produced, will cause everything to expand. Use a ceramic weight or other creative weight if necessary to keep vegetables submerged. Cover loosely with a lid or, if you are using Preserved’s airlock lid, secure tightly on the jar. Let ferment in a dark spot (out of direct sunlight) for a minimum of 5 days and up to 30 days for a more complex and sour ferment. The large cabbage leaves on top are there to provide an extra layer of protection against surface mold.
To serve: Taste the kraut every couple of days for your desired flavor. Discard the outer leaves if mold appears, but enjoy what’s hiding underneath. Serve cold as a garnish or side. Transfer into the refrigerator to store for 6-12 months.
Here are some Kraut Variations you can try:
Cabbage – Beet – Horseradish – Juniper
Cabbage – Ginger – Turmeric – Seaweed
Cabbage – Mustard Seed – Kale – Ginger
Cabbage – Apple – Fennel
Cabbage – Carrot – Jalapeno Curtid
Napa Cabbage – Chiles – Ginger – Garlic – Daikon Kimchi
Turnip – Radish – Beet – Carrots (shredded or sliced thin)