"We make these mixed krauts regularly with whatever we have on hand in the veggie patch – it might be celeriac, apple and fennel one week, or carrot, cabbage and radish the next," says Oliver Edwards, chef at The Summertown Astrologist. "Play around with different ingredients and combinations. A crunchy fresh kraut is a great way to start a meal – we like to serve it alongside our bread, butter and house-made charcuterie. This kraut needs at least three days to ferment. It makes a large batch but you could easily halve the ingredients to make less."
- ½ white cabbage, thinly sliced, a leaf reserved
- 6 radishes, cut into matchsticks
- 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 1 apple, cut into matchsticks
- Salt (see note)
- Charcuterie, bread and butter, to serve
- 1Combine vegetables and apple in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt, massaging until the vegetables start to turn a little limp. Stand at room temperature until they begin to soften and release liquid (1 hour).
- 2Pack softened vegetables and apple (and any excess liquid) into a sterile jar or fermenting crock large enough to hold them all (about a 2-litre capacity). Press down firmly to pack the jar tightly and completely submerge ingredients in their own liquid (you will need to press down firmly to really draw the liquid from the vegetables). Use a cabbage leaf to submerge ingredients to ensure they don't spoil. Screw a lid on the jar, leaving it loose to allow gases to escape, and leave at room temperature for up to a week. After the first few days check that the kraut is active – you should see some gases escaping from the liquid and perhaps a light fizz. From this point, taste kraut every day – the right balance of crunch and acidity is a matter of personal preference. When you're happy with it, refrigerate to stop any further fermentation – it will keep in the fridge for 3 weeks. Serve with charcuterie, bread and butter.
At The Summertown Aristologist, percentages are used to judge the amount of salt required for krauts – typically around 2-3 per cent salt to total vegetable weight. Weigh vegetables and calculate salt required – for 2 per cent salting you'll require 20gm salt for every kilogram of vegetables. Drink suggestion: A fun, fizzy pink pét-nat such as Commune of Buttons "Pink Fizz" from Adelaide Hills' Basket Range. Drink suggestion by Aaron Fenwick.