Recipe: Fennel Lemon Mint Kraut
We're craving fresh flavors here in Brooklyn, and this kraut made with fennel and lemon is checking all of the right boxes: it's bright, healthy, and versatile.
Fennel brings beautiful anise aromas and a whole lot of Vitamin C to this ferment. And when combined with lemon and fresh mint (in addition to cabbage, of course), its fresh crunch takes on Mediterranean flavors that helps this kraut work in so many dishes.
Pair with grilled fish in place of a fresh fennel and citrus salad, or with Mediterranean braised chicken for a bright pop of acidity that will liven up heartier flavors.
Remove and discard any outer damaged or wilted leaves from the cabbage. Reserve one large leaf. Quarter the cabbage and remove the core. Cut remaining cabbage into thin ribbons.
In a large mixing bowl, combine your shredded cabbage, fennel and salt. Massage the salt into your cabbage and fennel mixture for 8-10 minutes, cabbage will soften and release liquid. Mix in mint leaves.
Pack the cabbage into your fermentation jar tightly using your hands and pressing down with your fist. Half way up add lemon slices, pressing them to the sides of the fermenter. Add remaining cabbage and all liquid released from the cabbage.
Trim the reserved cabbage leaf into a circle (you can use the base of jar or the lid as a guide). Place on top of the packed cabbage and then add the fermentation weight. You want the packed cabbage to be completely submerged when weighted. If liquid levels are low you can top with a brine by dissolving 1 teaspoon salt to 1 cup water.
Let ferment for 1 week at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Transfer finished kraut to jars and move to the refrigerator. Discard lemon slices before serving. Kraut will keep refrigerated for at least 2 months.
1 head green cabbage
1 fennel bulb, cut into matchsticks
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
8 mint leaves, torn
1 lemon, scrubbed and thinly sliced with seeds removed