Purple Cabbage and Persimmon Sauerkraut

Photos above by Jessica Chappe, below by me

I recently got back from a month in France where I was doing a work trade at an inn. Having been away from my kitchen for a month I spent my first Sunday back starting some projects. I soaked and cooked some ayacote beans, made chicken stock, and started this kraut. Sauerkraut is a fun project for a Sunday. It starts at the farmer’s market in the morning (like all good projects), continues in your kitchen, working it’s magic in the jar, and ends in your stomach. Sauerkraut happens to be very good for your stomach! I went for a purple cabbage because they are just so beautiful and added the persimmon because I was feeling funky and fall. It turns out persimmon is very good in sauerkraut. If you can’t find persimmons however, just use an apple. Fermentation is true magic - it is a transformation, a chemical shift, a experiment that creates life. This is a fun and easy place to start a ferment if you have never fermented anything before.

Ingredients –

1 Medium to large purple cabbage

1 Fuyu persimmon

1 ½ Tablespoon kosher salt

Large jar

Small jar

Method –

1. Remove outer cabbage leaves. Cut cabbage into quarters. Cut the quarters into strips and place in large bowl. Add half the salt and massage into cabbage.

2. Wash and cut persimmon into thin slices. Place in bowl with cabbage. Add the rest of the salt and massage until you feel the juices start to come about. 

3. Press kraut mixture into your large jar so that it is submerged into its brine. Use a small jar filled with water as your fermenting weight. Cover the jar with a cloth and rubber band so that your creation can breathe. 

4. Make sure to store in a cool dry place, checking on it every day. If mold occurs, don’t worry! Just scoop it away and keep monitoring. I like to taste it on day 5; if it needs more tangyness keep tasting for the next couple of days, but a week should be enough time. Whenever you decide it is ready to eat, take out the small jar you’re using as a weight and put the kraut in the fridge.