'Dill Pickle' Kraut Recipe

I LOVE this recipe! It's been a hit with everyone who has tried it, (even the kraut-haters!!). It tastes just like a dill pickle but in kraut form. I was inspired to make it by a guest in our last Veggie Fermentation workshop. She told me about a kraut she loves to buy that tastes like dill pickles and I couldn't resist making my own to see why she adored it so much. Now I understand! If you're not on the kraut bus, try this one. It's not your typical kraut, the cabbage is hidden by the flavour of dill and it's yummy enough to eat straight from the jar.

Dill Pickle Kraut

INGREDIENTS:
1 head organic green cabbage
2 bunches of fresh dill leaves, finely chopped (about 1 and 1/2 cups)
1 cup chopped English cucumber (I used English to have fewer seeds)
1-2 tsp sea salt

EQUIPMENT:
1 L wide-mouthed glass jar
weight (smaller glass jar that fits inside 1 L jar or fermenting stone)

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Remove outer leaves from green cabbage, reserving one. Cut the remaining cabbage into quarters and slice thinly. Add sliced cabbage to a large bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. Add enough to create a salty but not overpowering flavour.
  2. Use hands to massage cabbage, pressing firmly. The salt will begin to draw water out, creating your brine. Massage until you have a puddle (about 1/4 cup of liquid) at the bottom of the bowl. 
  3. Add finely chopped dill and massage in to release flavour.
  4. Add chopped cucumber and toss to combine.
  5. Transfer your kraut including the liquid brine to your glass jar. Press down using your hand or a utensil to remove any air pockets and submerge kraut underneath the brine. 
  6. Trim reserved cabbage leaf and place on top of kraut as a follower, pressing down to submerge it. Followers help to prevent little pieces of cabbage or herbs from floating up. You can place a smaller glass jar filled with water and sealed on top to keep everything under the brine. Or you can use a fermenting weight (I used this one) or even a boiled flat stone (submerge stone in boiling water for 10 minutes before using). If the lid fits on top of your weight, use it, but don't seal tightly to allow CO2 to escape. Otherwise, cover with a clean towel. 
  7. Place kraut in a shallow bowl or baking sheet to catch any overflow (as it ferments, carbon dioxide is released and the salt continues to pull liquid out of the cabbage which may overflow) and set aside to ferment in a cool corner of your kitchen, away from direct light. 
  8. Check your kraut daily, pressing down on the weight to release more liquid as needed to keep it submerged. Kraut will be ready in 7-14 days. You can begin tasting it on day 5, removing the weight and lifting up the follower and trying a bite. The kraut should taste a little tangy and pleasingly sour.
  9. Once fermented to your liking, remove weight, seal tightly with a lid and store in the fridge. Kraut will keep for a year or longer.
Sea salt draws brine out of cabbage

Sea salt draws brine out of cabbage

Fresh dill is essential, dried would not produce the same flavour

Fresh dill is essential, dried would not produce the same flavour

Toss cucumber in at the end but don't massage it

Toss cucumber in at the end but don't massage it

I used a glass fermenting weight to keep kraut submerged. Notice the herbs are still bright green and the brine is almost clear

I used a glass fermenting weight to keep kraut submerged. Notice the herbs are still bright green and the brine is almost clear

After fermentation the dill and cucumber skins have discoloured and the brine has become cloudy

After fermentation the dill and cucumber skins have discoloured and the brine has become cloudy

I've been serving this kraut as a side dish to summer meals, but it also works really well in potato salads and on top of burgers and wraps. Hope you like it as much as I do and thanks for reading!