Monday, April 11, 2011

Fermented: April Veggie Kraut

My assistant is always up for kraut-making. Pounding, stirring, adding the salt, chopping (with very attentive Mommy-supervision!), and of course taste-testing for quality-control. She generally thinks my recipes are too sweet, so she helps me by thinning out the sweet bits before jarring; she's thoughtful that way. ;)

I'm enjoying the weekly culinary challenge that is presented with a CSA. Riverdog Farm sends us a generous bounty of produce every week. My personal goal: to have an empty vegetable drawer when we go pick up our box on Fridays. This means that we eat a lot of fresh veggies, and that we make a lot of ferments! On delivery day, I assess the produce as I sort it into the proper receptacles ~ the fruit bowl, the root drawer, and the crisper drawer in the fridge; I make rough guesses of what I can use for breakfast, what would go great in a soup, what could be eaten raw for salads and snacks, what deserves to be showcased on its own, and what would be yummy in kraut. On Thursday night or Friday morning, what's leftover in the crisper drawer goes to the kraut. For a long time, I only liked cabbage fermented, and disliked it any other way. Lately I've been enjoying it cooked (till soft). So less cabbage is getting dedicated to kraut. But I've also been loving fermented grated carrots, so I've hoarded away at least one every week. Farm-fresh carrots are SO delicious! Instead of winding up forgotten in the back of the drawer until they're limp ~ like grocery store carrots sold in bags tended to in my kitchen, farm-fresh carrots are as sweet as candy simply eaten out-of-hand. They make any meal they touch a flavor treat.

Here's last week's kraut ~ a Springtime rainbow.
One grated carrot
1/4 of a small purple cabbage, shredded
a few red chard stems, sliced
1/2 a pink lady apple left for a day on the cutting board (not from CSA, but still local!), sliced then chopped
1/2 a fennel bulb, chopped
fennel leaves, minced
sea salt

I used some of the pink brine leftover from a Winter kraut of carrots, celeriac, and watermelon radishes, to cover these veggies. In a few days, everything will be pink. I like pink kraut. :)

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