Savoy and Wild Garlic Kraut
This recipe is a nod to the impending Spring and can be updated or changed as the seasons change. The general/basic principle is to combine 1kg of self-brining vegetables (vegetables that make their own brine when salted) with 15g or 1 tbsp of salt.
Nena Foster is a trained Natural Chef (College of Naturopathic Medicine). She works as a freelance chef, cookery and fermentation teacher, as well as a food stylist and recipe developer.
- 400g white cabbage, one outer leaf and core reserved for packing the jar and weighing down the cabbage
- 300g savoy cabbage, shredded
- 200g bulb fennel, trimmed, finely sliced and fronds reserved
- 100g wild garlic, thinly sliced
- 15g himalayan pink salt
- zest from one lemon
- Chop or grate the cabbage (finely or coarsely, depending on your taste) and be sure to save some of the outer leaves as well as the core for packing the jar.
- Place the cabbage in a large plastic bowl once chopped, sprinkling the salt on the cabbage as you go. Next, finely slice the fennel and add this to the bowl.
- Massage the cabbage and fennel for about 5 minutes to break down the cabbage and start to draw the water out and have a nice pool of brine at the bottom of the bowl. Alternatively, you can leave this for over a few hours and allow the water to be drawn out naturally.
- Next, add the lemon zest, fennel fronds and mix.
- Once mixed, start packing the cabbage into a clip top Kilner or screw top Mason jar. As you pack, press it down hard using your fists (if they fit into the jar), a rolling pin or muddling stick. You want to leave about a 3cm gap at the top of the jar.
- Make sure the cabbage is submersed in the brine and cover the cabbage with a few of the leftover leaves (you may have to tear these to fit).
- Place a clean weight (a ramekin, fermenting weight, sterilised stone or the core of the cabbage) on top of the leaves to ensure the cabbage remains in the brine.
- Seal the jar and leave the sauerkraut to ferment on the kitchen counter for 3-5 days* (you will need to ‘burp’ the jar once or twice a day) before transferring it to a cool dark cupboard to ferment from 1-7 weeks. The longer the better.
- You can check the flavour of the sauerkraut using a wooden or plastic spoon. Once you are happy with the flavour you can transfer the sauerkraut into smaller jars and store it in the fridge.
*In colder temperatures it can take slightly longer for the fermentation process to kick off. A place with a constant temperature of about 20-22C degrees is ideal, but if it is colder, this is fine, it just might take longer.
Notes: In the fridge sauerkraut can last for 7 or 8 months and the flavours continue to develop.