Phew! Home at last. No matter how great the adventure, coming home always feels relieving. First up on my recovery list? Eat some of this kraut!
This kraut gets it's golden color from ginger, garlic, turmeric, and carrot. Those ingredients also make for one potent anti-inflammatory spoonful! I find that eating vegetables while traveling is hard -- while on the plane, certainly, but even when bouncing from hotel restaurant to cafe, I find that it's hard to eat like I would at home. By the time I make it home from a vacation, all I really want is a big bowl of steamed broccoli and a nap on my own pillow.
Kraut is not as comforting to me as steamed broccoli (Did I just call broccoli comforting? There's a new one.) but it has the same effect when I'm in a give-me-vegetables-and-give-them-now sort of mood. Plus, Oliver and I prepped this kraut about two weeks before our trip, which meant that when we arrive home on Saturday night, it had just reached it's optimal fermentation point.
This recipe does call for red chilies however it is not as hot as a Kimchi. Instead, it's fresh and acidic--thanks for a generous heaping of ginger. And, while we're on the subject of ginger, can we talk about how ginger + carrot is one of my favorite food combinations ever. EVER. (Try these, this, or this. Then you'll know).
So how am I eating this stuff today? Well, by the spoonful for one. I also scooped absurd amounts over my kale and breakfast sausage today. It'd be great on a bratwurst, or with some Asian-inspired steaks.
One last benefit? It's just German enough that I can pretend I'm still on vacation, while my inner clock adjusts to this 8-hour time change (Ugh!).
Here are some final photos from our adventures, mostly taken in northern Italy. Skip below for the recipe!
Yields: 4-5 cups | Total Time:
- 2 green cabbages (3 kg)
- 7 cups carrots (6 medium size carrots)
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger
- 1.5 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated turmeric
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons red chile flakes, plus 3-10 thai chile peppers, depending on heat preference
- Wash the cabbage and scrub the carrots, then finely use a food processor with a fine slicer attachment to shred the cabbage and grating attachment to shred the carrots. Place all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Use your hands (you might want to wear rubber gloves to prevent your hands to get stained by the turmeric) to mix and massage until it starts to get soft and juicy. The vegetables should release quite a lot of juice, if not, just add some more salt.
- Use a spoon or a tong to spoon the mixture into 2 large clean jars. Pack it really tight to leave out all air, keep packing until the jar is full of veggies and the veggies are covered in juice (This is important — if there is not enough juice, add a small amount of water).
- Fix jar with a lid with an air lock or other lid. Leave the jars to ferment in room temperature for 2-4 weeks (depending on room temperature). Check on them occasionally.
- When ready, it should be softly textured but not mushy and have a fresh, spicy and acidic flavor. Discard the cabbage leave at the top and store the jars in the fridge. We usually divide the fermented vegetables in smaller jars and hand out to friends and family or keep it in the fridge.