This kraut came about by way of whimsy, as many of our favorite discoveries do. (This is another perfect illustration of why fermenting in mason jars is awesome; the small batch size makes experimentation easy.) Having a few stalks of rhubarb left over after making rhubarb wine, we put them into a batch of kraut; paired with lime zest, juice, and ginger. We were delighted, 2 weeks later, to find a tart, tender, kraut, suffused with something the French would call, that certain, I don’t know what. (It sounds better in French.)
Fancy verbiage aside, this kraut is light and tangy and perfectly springy, a perfect seasonal accompaniment to the light, vegetable based meals of spring, or as a refreshing counterpoint to heartier fare. Make it while the rhubarb stalks the market basket; otherwise you’ll have to wait all year before you can make it again.
(Although this recipe can be made without the rhubarb and ginger, and is pretty delicious that way, too. Try it on tacos, and swoon…)
Makes 1 quart of kraut
Chop the cabbage to the desired consistency, discarding the hard white center.
Sprinkle the cabbage with salt and massage until the texture softens, and juice begins to run from a handful of squeezed cabbage.
Chop the rhubarb into 1/2” slices, and add to the cabbage mixture.
Add the zest and juice of 2 limes.
Dice the ginger into tiny cubes, and toss to mix all ingredients.
Pack the young kraut into a quart-sized mason jar; you should have plenty of brine, since the lime juice adds a lot of moisture to the mix.
Weight the kraut; here, we show you our little secret: small Weck jar lids make excellent pickle weights.
Place out of direct sunlight at room temperature, and allow to ferment for 2 weeks, or until the desired flavor is reached. When fermentation is complete, the bright colors will have faded, alas, but the flavor will sing, as bright and tart as spring.
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