Make sauerkraut – sour cabbage
Chucrut or sauerkraut is normally regarded as a German speciality, but according to Wikipedia the ancient Romans used similar methods to preserve their cabbages. It is still eaten in Friuli-Venezia-Giulia and other Alpine areas of Italy. All it takes to make sauerkraut is patience and time.
What I like about sauerkraut or chucrut is the ability to cut through fatty food like sausages with a taste that is distinctive, sharp and packed with vitamins. This has led to several failed attempts at making the sidedish at home through the years, but this time I found a recipe that worked. In fact, it wasn’t that difficult once you have some lactic acid bacteria or whey from ricotta making to kick start the fermentation process. The taste is unrivaled.
If you don’t like the cumin that is traditionally used to spice the cabbage, other seeds like coriander or fennel and dill can be used instead.
1 ltr AB fermented milk or whey left over from ricotta making
1 kg white cabbage
1 tbsp caraway (or cumin seeds)
3 tbsp salt
1 ltr boiled water
Pour the AB fermented milk through a sieve lined with cheese cloth and keep the liquid that drip through. This liquid is the fermentation starter, while the rest of the cultured milk can be used for something else. You should have about 50 ml fermentation starter for the recipe above.
Wash and cut the cabbage finely.
Rinse a clean jar in boiling water, fill some cabbage in the jar and press it firmly with the end of a rod type rolling pin
Mix salt and cumin seeds and sprinkle some on the bottom layer of cabbage before the procedure it repeated.
Continue till the jar is full
Pour fermentation starter over the cabbage and top up with boiled water.
Make sure that all the cabbage is submerged – eg. by placing a plastic bag with some water as a buffer on top.
Close the lid and leave the jar in room temperature for 3-4 day.
Sauerkraut should rest in a cold room for another 4-6 weeks before it is ready to serve.