Sauerruben

A traditional German variant of sauerkraut made from turnip or from its cousin rutabaga.  Recipe courtesy of Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: fermenting time is 1 to 4 weeks

Servings many

Ingredients

  • 5   pounds  turnips and rutabaga 
  • 3  tbsp  sea salt 

Directions

  1. Grate turnip or rutabaga coarsely or finely, as you prefer
  2. Sprinkle grated rutabaga with salt as you go.  The process will work with more or less salt, so salt to taste
  3.  As with sauerkraut, add any other vegetables, herbs or spices you like.  Or don’t, and enjoy the strong flavour of the rutabaga unadulterated.
  4. Mix ingredients together and pack into crock.  Pack just a bit into the crock at a time and tamp it down hard using your fists or a sturdy kitchen implement.  The tamping packs the Sauerruben tight in the crock and helps force water out of the rutabaga.
  5. Cover Sauerruben with a plate or some other lid that fits snugly inside the crock.  Place a clean weight(such as a glass jar filled with water) on the cover.  This weight is to force the water out of the rutabaga and then keep the rutabaga submerged under the brine.  Cover the whole thing with a cloth to keep out dust and flies.
  6. Check after a few days.  Wipe away any surface mold and rinse the cover and weight.  Taste the sauerruben.  As time passes the flavour will get stronger.  enjoy its evolving flavour over weeks in warm weather and over months in cold weather.

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