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Sprout Kraut

The last batch of sauerkraut I made is but a memory, the dilly beans are long gone and the escabeche is but a few pitiful carrots and jalapeno slices floating around in a jar.

Time for another ferment.

The idea for this came from a recipe for Brussels sprouts, halved and fermented with dill, garlic and chilies I found at Saveur.com.  I was tickled that it was actually fermented; most mainstream recipes I find for pickles (and that’s all a ferment really is) are made with vinegar.  But since Beloved has been asking me to make more ‘kraut – he loves it with the grass-fed beef hot dogs our butcher has begun making – I decided to see just how it would taste using my favorite cruciferous vegetable.

It’s interesting.  I tend to prefer ferments before they get too terribly sour (the exception to that was the dilly beans, which just got better the longer they fermented); not much of a problem because we eat them quickly once they make the transition from the counter to the refrigerator.  This particular ferment, however, is different.

Brussels sprouts have a much stronger flavor than cabbage and even a week after transferring the jar to fridge, the kraut still tasted overwhelmingly of garlic and Brussels sprouts.  The longer it cures, though, the more sour – and the tastier – it becomes; I’ve begun to wish I’d left it on the counter for at least a week before putting it in cold storage, which slows down the fermentation process (but does not stop it).

Again, it’s interesting; I pull the jar out of the fridge every day or two and eat a big forkful to see how it’s coming along.  I’m literally tasting it as it changes character from salty, garlicky Brussels sprouts to a sharp, sour kraut that makes my tastebuds tingle.  It’s going to be marvelous by the time we get to the end of our jar, and I’ll make it again.

I used celery seed in this instead of the fresh dill called for in the original recipe because, for one, I have a large jar of celery seed in my spice cabinet that should be used and because the fresh dill in the dilly beans, while delicious, was a bit of a mess at the end and I didn’t want to have to pick most of it out of the kraut in order to eat it.  It was a good choice; the celery flavor is subtle, but delicious.  You can leave out the red pepper flakes if you like, but they do a lot to tame the strong, cabbagey flavor of the sprouts.  The garlic is a must – don’t skip it.

Sprout Kraut. For a twist on traditional sauerkraut, shredded Brussels sprouts are fermented with celery seed, peppercorns and garlic.

Click  the image to enlarge

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sprout Kraut
 
Makes 1 quart
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 4 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • filtered water
Instructions
  1. Have ready a clean, dry 1 quart glass jar.
  2. Layer the shredded Brussels sprouts into the jar until it is about 1/4 full. Sprinkle some of the salt on top of the cabbage and pound it down with a wooden spoon or pestle until the sprouts begin to give off liquid. Sprinkle in a bit of the celery seed, a few peppercorns, a pinch of the red pepper flakes and a clove of garlic.
  3. Repeat the previous step, pounding the mixture between each layer, until all of the ingredients are in the jar. Add enough filtered water to cover the kraut. There should be about 1 inch between the top of the cabbage and the top of the jar.
  4. Top off the kraut with about 1/4 cup of olive or coconut oil to keep the cabbage submerged, or use a glass weight. Cap loosely and store at room temperature (on a counter out of direct sunlight is fine) for 3 days, or until the kraut begins to bubble.
  5. Transfer to the refrigerator and continue to cure for 3 to 4 weeks before eating.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 13 calories, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 358.6mg sodium, 99.3mg potassium, 2.7g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, <1g sugar, <1g protein


8 comments

Lisa says:

This would be a great side dish to bring to someone else’s Thanksgiving, no?

Jan says:

Yes, I think so, if you’ve given it enough time to ferment. A fruit chutney would be good, as well – something like my Cranberry-Orange Chutney, which is what we’re having – and wouldn’t take so long to ferment. I started the chutney yesterday, and we’ll eat it Thursday. The Sprout Kraut needs at least 3 weeks before it’s good to go. But it is quite tasty, especially if you love Brussels sprouts as much as we do.

Suzanne says:

this sounds good.
And so much healthier than the foods I mention in my post today! : )

Jan says:

Well, it’s the one time of year that the concept of “healthy” takes a back seat and no one bats an eye, so I wouldn’t worry. Besides – an epic lasagna and lemon bundt cake? That sounds delicious!

I’d still like to see a recipe for that pull-apart bread, too.

Emily says:

Hi there! I made this but am a bit confused about the oil. You add it to the top of the brussel sprouts? I wasn’t sure what you meant but I did that and it hardened up near the top. When I put it in the fridge a lot of the water evaporated so the top is getting a little moldy. Do I just add more plain water? And did I do the oil right? Thanks!

[…] sweet pickle relish (from “Fermented” by Jill Ciciarelli) and perhaps my new favorite, sprout kraut. The sprout kraut is the only one that is ready and it is going […]

The Roundup says:

[…] Jan’s Sushi Bar: Sprout Kraut […]

[…] sprouts sauerkraut, and will be giving Jan’s Sushi Bar’s cleverly named Sprout Kraut a try. 4. Tastespotting’s Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, Pretzel Grilled Cheese is all of my […]

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