March’s preserve of the month is sauerkraut! It’s delicious with stews, on sandwiches, in salads and with noodles or dumplings.
For the simplest sauerkraut, you simply need a fresh cabbage, some salt, a mason jar and a plastic bag. Since cabbage is available and homes are cool this time of year, it’s a great time to make your first batch. Once you’ve mastered a basic sauerkraut recipe, it’s easy to incorporate other vegetables and seasonings. Try using a 3/4 cabbage and 1/4 grated beet or carrot ratio, toss in sliced radishes or garlic scapes. Spice things up with turmeric, hot peppers, cumin, cardamom or fenugreek. There is only one golden rule: keep veg under brine and all will be fine.
Get an overview of the the steps, check out this post on classic kraut by the Kitchn. If you’d like to try a tangy and garlicky kraut, we recommend the recipe below. If you want to watch Isabelle make it on television (in French), take a peek as of 31:40.
Recipe: Sunshine Kraut
Adapted from Fermented Vegetables
1 large green cabbage (about 4 lbs)
1 clove garlic, grated
½ t. (125 ml) grated carrots
1 small root of fresh turmeric, grated (about 1 tbsp / 15 ml)
½ c. (2.5 ml) ground coriander
½ c. (2.5 ml) chili flakes
1 ½ tsp. coarse salt (or 2% of the weight of shredded cabbage)
- All material coming into contact with sauerkraut (utensils, knives, boards, pans and hands) should be thoroughly washed before starting.
- Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and reserve 2 for the finish.
- Cut the cabbage into 4, remove the heart and cut into rag.
- Place the rag in a large glass bowl, add the garlic, carrots and spices and mix well. Weigh the mixture and measure the weight of the salt to be added.
- Add the salt and massage it with your hands for 5 minutes.
- At this time, the cabbage should start to make water (brine).
- Transfer the vegetable mixture to a 3 liter glass jar, one handle at a time, pressing well to pack and softening the cabbage. Use your fist or wooden pestle to do this work.
- Place the 2 cabbage leaves you reserved directly on the vegetables, then a re-sealable bag on top.
- Open the bag and pour enough water so that it sinks slightly by compressing the sauerkraut.
- Place the jug on a plate and let the sauerkraut ferment at room temperature (15 to 20 ° C), protected from the sun, from 7 to 14 days.
- Start to control the taste from the 3rd day. When the sauerkraut begins to taste pleasantly tangy, it is almost ready. Let it ferment for another 1 or 2 days or until it has reached the desired sour flavour.
No time to make your own? Pop by the Roulant General Store this month and purchase some at a special price; 1$ off per container of classic cabbage kraut or sunshine kraut.
You can also join our ‘preserve of the month’ club for an even greater discount! Sign up in advance for the whole year to receive a jar of delicious Montreal-grown and made preserves each month for $90, with a value of $105. Purchase your membership in the online general store.
Why share our recipes?
We want you to get excited about eating locally and help you gain the skills to do so! We sell preserves to support our programs, but food security and community remain our overarching goals; we’re all about sharing and strengthening the local food sector.
Photo credit: Manon Allard