Magenta Sauerkraut

It amazes me sometimes how someone looked at this and called it a purple (or red) cabbage. What were they thinking? Couldn’t they come up with something better than that? Maybe I should give vegetable “namers” the benefit of the doubt and attribute it to an unusually “blah” day. The creativity had gone out the window after a long week of giving names to star fruit, passion fruit, papaya, mango, radicchio, endive, and courgette. But then, what’s the excuse for the brilliantly colored eggplant, the blackberry that isn’t black and the pawpaw? Perhaps “blah” days weren’t so uncommon after all. Oh well, I digress.

I don’t know about you, but I love sauerkraut. I think it’s the Czechoslovakian blood in me. My great grandmother used to make us Bolshevik onion dumplings with sauerkraut on the side. Oh my, I loved it. She taught me how to make the dumplings before she died. Do you know how incredibly special that is? Someday, I’ll do a post on that, but today I made sauerkraut.

I shredded one magenta cabbage and another quarter of a leftover green cabbage that we had in the refrigerator. This can be done with a knife, a cheese grater or a food processor. Be prepared to make a mess! Cabbage is one of the messiest things to work with ever!

One tablespoon of salt goes into that.

Just in case you’re wondering, I use REAL salt. That’s the brand, I’m not just being stuck up here. REAL salt doesn’t process the living daylights out of their sea salt. That’s why you see specks of color. It looks like dirt, but it’s really several different minerals that are natural to salt. I think it tastes better too, but that might be psychological. :)

Most of the time I put caraway seeds in my kraut, because that’s what my Great-grandma did. And that’s what makes it sauerkraut in my mind. But today I went out on a limb and put chiles and garlic in it instead.

Just like that. Well, I pulled the stems off the dried chiles.

The next part takes time. I should say it used to take time because I found a nifty short cut. I used to pound it all down with my french rolling pin.

Then I had a brilliant thought, The Kitchen Aid could do this! And it did.  I happily wandered around and did other things. Electronics are amazing! Well, some of them. Sometimes.

The cabbage will end up half the bulk that it was before and will take on a rather wilted look. (I would too if I were beat up in a Kitchen Aid.) You’ll be able to easily squeeze juices from it.

Next, pack it into quart jars. this recipe fills about 1 and 1/2 quarts. Fill it almost to the top and pack it down hard. Then weigh it down with a glass bottle, or a tin can protected with plastic wrap. (Pictures do not show plastic wrap.)

You can already see the juices rising up to cover the cabbage.

Amazing color!

Put it on a plate to catch any overflow that might happen and let it sit there for about 7 days to ferment. And….well, it hasn’t been 7 days yet, so I’ll be back with the rest of the story.