these 3 photos by Laurie www.lschneider.com
Stoneware Crocks available from www.AngelicasGarden.net
Cabbage is one of our very favorite winter vegetables. We store whole heads in the root cellar for using in coleslaw and other salads, however most of our stockpiled cabbage is preserved in the form of lacto-fermented raw sauerkraut. Fermented foods have their own flavor profile and aren’t especially versatile. We love the sweet crunch of a fresh cabbage salad, and that freshness is especially treasured in the deep of winter when fresh greens are not an option. Why should you grow and eat cabbage besides the fact that it’s a fresh veggie in the winter? Cabbage is from the Brassica family of plants, known to have anti-carcinogenic properties. Cabbage is a GREAT source of real food fiber, which can be lacking in the seasonal winter diet. Here’s some examples of how we use kraut & cabbage in the Farmstead Kitchen.Purple Cabbage makes PINK sauerkraut! Super gorgeous and delicious when mixed with raw shredded carrots, dressed with Olive oil and apple vinegar.
Add some sauerkraut to your hashbrown pan, right when the potatoes are done. Warming the kraut just slightly gives it a whole new angle on your plate, and it tastes extra awesome with the fried crispy hashbrowns.
Spicy Peanut Sauce Veggies are a welcome change for a winter dinner, with or without noodles. Raw shredded cabbage is absolutely delicious dressed in Spicy Peanut Sauce! So are many other veggies waiting in the freezer and cellar- roasted squash cubes, frozen green beans, sauteed carrot chunks, slivered garlic and onion, etc.
To make an Easy Peanut Sauce, spoon a few hefty spoonfuls (about 1/2 cup) of peanut butter in a big mixing bowl, add 1/4 cup of water then whisk to loosen up the thick pb. Add the same amount of vinegar (something fruity and light- we always use apple vinegar from our cider making pulp, but brown rice or red wine vinegar would be delicious too), keep whisking, and then add 1/4 cup of olive oil, with a bit of soy sauce & sesame oil if you have it. If the sauce seems too thick, taste & add more vinegar or water. Whisk in a bit more peanut butter if it is too thin. Some delicious add-ins to include to taste; raw minced garlic, ginger powder or juice, Sriracha Hot sauce, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Keeps in the fridge for a week or so.
We’ve talked about our Duck Egg Aioli/Mayo before- but it’s worth repeating as it makes the most delicious coleslaw you have ever had.
4 large duck eggs
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
1 Tablespoon sea salt
a dash of cayenne
4 cups oil (we use safflower for a milder flavor)
3/4 cup white vinegar (apple cider is good for a real tang) Combine one cup of oil in food processor along with the eggs (white and yolk), mustard, salt, cayenne. Process until smooth. SLOWLY drizzle in 2 cups of oil, making sure it is completely emulsified as you go. Then slowly drizzle in vinegar, and the remaining 1 cup of oil. At this point all the sloshy sounds in the processor should start to become quiet. You know it is perfectly emulsified when all you hear is the whizz of the motor. Season to taste and store in fridge for about a week.
Shred raw cabbage, raw onion & raw carrot, chop up some apples into bite sized chunks. You can even add some nuts, raisins or craisins if you’re feeling wild! Toss with the aioli and refrigerate for an hour before eating, this allows the flavors to mingle.
Our last big head of raw cabbage will soon be turned into Cabbage Rolls, a Farmstead Kitchen vegetarian version with cooked lentils & rice, sauteed veggies, a bit of tangy chevre and feta mixed in, thyme/garlic/salt/pepper to taste. This savory and versatile filling is rolled up in steamed cabbage leaves, which are lined up in a deep casserole dish, and covered with a creamy tomato sauce (blend 2 qrts canned tomatoes with 1/2 lb of chevre) and baked at 350 for an hour or so until the creamy sauce has reduced and the cabbage rolls look and smell heavenly.
Add kraut to a mixed salad with that fresh lettuce you might just need to splurge on at the co-op. You’ll be adding probiotics, flavor and fiber to your already nutritious salad. Kraut can be added to any salad year round really- it’s super dimensional flavor is a compliment to non-fermented veggies!