Recipe: Leek Black Pepper Thyme Kraut
Sometimes, your palate just needs a reset. Something mellow, and refreshing to wipe the slate clean after indulging in big, bold flavors. When you're craving something subtle, clean, and light, break out your fermenter and get started on a batch of this kraut.
Sweet, mellow leeks, herbaceous thyme, and bright, awakening black pepper combine to create a kraut that truly tastes like hitting "refresh" on your palate. The leeks stay crunchy and lightly oniony through fermentation, while the cracked black pepper adds a base level of heat that lifts the natural sweetness of the greens and the earthiness of the thyme. Packed with Vitamin K & manganese, leeks help promote a healthy metabolism & strong bones, so you can feel great about turning back to your jar of kraut again and again.
We love this kraut alongside pork chops, grilled fish, or in a grain bowl with a soft-boiled egg on top. Just be sure to rinse your leeks thoroughly so you don't end up with an earthier kraut than intended.
Clean leeks thoroughly. We like to put the sliced leeks in a large bowl of water and mix with our hands to allow dirt to settle at the bottom. Skim leeks off the top and repeat in a new bowl of water until clean.
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 and salt. Massage the salt into your cabbage for 8-10 minutes, cabbage will soften and release liquid. Mix in leeks, thyme leaves and black pepper.
Pack the cabbage into your fermentation jar tightly using your hands and pressing down with your fist. Add all liquid released from the cabbage.
Trim the reserved cabbage leaf into a circle (you can use the base of your 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 (Questions about fermentation weights? Check out our Fermentation Weight Guide). If liquid levels are low you can top with a brine by dissolving 1 teaspoon salt to 1 cup water.
Top with lid and airlock (Need help? Check out our How to Assemble Airlock Video). Let ferment for 1 week at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Transfer finished kraut to jars and move to the refrigerator. Kraut will keep refrigerated for at least 2 months.
1 head green cabbage
3 leeks, trimmed (white and light green parts only), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
10-12 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper