I was inspired to get my ‘kraut on at the weekend after foraging for wild garlic last Friday. I did an introduction to fermenting foods workshop a couple of years ago with Wild Pickle (I highly recommend their workshops for those in the midlands) and knew roughly the basic quantities required, but the rest of the ingredients I found in the fridge and made it up as I went along. Please see the Wild Pickle facebook page for more information on the whole process, workshop details and more recipes.
2 small cabbages, about 500g each
Handful of wild garlic
Thumb of fresh ginger
Zest of a large lemon
20g of sea salt
Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage and cut out the stalk. Put to one side to use later.
Finely chop/shred the cabbage (or slice thinly in a food processor).
Peel and grate the ginger.
Finely zest the lemon rind*.
Finely chop the wild garlic.
Combine all the above in a mahoosive mixing bowl.
Sprinkle in the salt (I actually used some Cornish Seaweed Salt that I found in the cupboard, I can’t wait to see what it tastes like).
Massage the lot with your hands for 5-10 minutes until it’s softened, squelchy and juicy. This is my favourite part, and being a massage therapist comes in useful here. I put the bowl on the kitchen table, rather than the worktop, as the lower height enables me to stand over it and use my body weight to squish it all up.
Pack into a 1 litre Kilner jar, leaving a 2-3cm gap from the top.
Cover the kraut with the remaining outer leaf and press it down so everything is covered in the juice.
Put the stalk on top and use it to keep everything submerged by squeezing the lid down on it.
Sit the jar in a bowl and leave it to ferment for 7-10 days on a work top, then 2-3 months in the fridge.
You’ll need to burp it (open and close the jar to let the gas out – I do this in the sink as you’re likely to be sprayed with kraut juice!), at least 1x daily for the first week or so.
*If you’re feeling fancy, you could thinly slice the lemon and slide it into the sides of the jar before putting the cabbage leaf on top. It prettifies the jar and adds extra lemony zing.