Leek & Turmeric Sauerkraut

By Aynsley

A delightful medley of flavour profiles will have you eating jar after jar of this crunchy, piquant sauerkraut. It turns out a beautiful deep yellow thanks to fresh turmeric root and carrots. Enjoy the fruits of natural fermentation, done with your own two hands!

This recipe will yield 2 quarts.

You will need...

  • 3 lbs green cabbage, about one large dense head, reserve a few of the outer leaves
  • 1 lb leeks, with 2 to 3 inches of the green, sliced thinly crosswise
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh turmeric root, grated
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unrefined salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 grated carrots

Put it together...

Finely slice the cabbage into shreds and place in a large bowl along with the thinly sliced leeks, grated turmeric, and ground pepper to taste.
Massage in 1-1/2 tablespoons of the salt. Taste. It should taste slightly salty but not overwhelming. Add more salt if necessary. By now brine will be developing. Continue to massage the cabbage and leeks as if you were kneading bread. If you’ve put in a good effort and don’t see much brine in the bowl, let it stand, covered, for 45 minutes, then massage again.
When the veggies are limp and glossy and there is a liquid at the bottom of the bowl, begin to press them in the jar or crock. Start by putting a little of the kraut in the bottom of your vessel, press until compacted and continue until all of the kraut is pressed in the jar. It’s finished when air bubbles are out and brine is on top.
Top the vegetables with one of the reserved outer leaves. Then top the leaves with a sealed water-filled jar to weigh it down (this works really well!) or use your favorite fermentation technique/vessel. (Remember the key to success is keeping everything pressed under the brine.) Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Set aside on a plate to ferment, somewhere nearby and out of direct sunlight, in a cool spot for 7 to 21 days.
Check daily to make sure the vegetables are submerged, pressing down as needed to bring the brine to the surface, and scoop out any scum that develops. It will be ready when it is deliciously sour to you.
This kraut will keep, refrigerated, for 12 months.