Mmmm… Brussels sprouts! I love you with bacon. I love you roasted in olive oil. I even love you fermented! On a recent trip to my brother’s house he showed off his mad knife skillz. He likes to slice Brussels sprouts paper thin and saute them with pancetta. Delicious! But I had another idea when I saw that mountain of Brussels sprouts chiffonade – sauerkraut! Brussels sprouts make a delightful kraut with a lemony flavor and a firm texture. Beware that it’s very stinky during the early stages of fermentation; you’ll want to keep this one secluded in a cupboard until the 4 weeks are up to avoid objections from family members. 😉
Makes 1 quart
2lbs. Brussels sprouts
1tsp. dried thyme
½tsp. caraway seeds
½tsp. dill seeds
½tps. ground black pepper
1tsp. salt dissolved in 1c. water (optional)
Rinse Brussels sprouts and remove any scrappy outer leaves. Slice the sprouts very thinly into a chiffonade, using a sharp knife or a mandoline or v-slicer. (I use this one: Swissmar Borner V Power Mandoline, V-7000.) In a large mixing bowl, toss the sliced sprouts with the salt and other spices. Massage a bit with your hands to work in the salt. Put a plate on top and a weight and cover with a towel. Let the whole thing sit for an hour or two to macerate.
Pack the salted, spiced, sliced sprouts into a 1 quart or 1 liter jar, pressing down firmly with each addition, until the jar is filled to about 2″ from top. Place a little weight on top of the sprouts. (Small jar or shot glass works great.) I find that Brussels sprouts are not as juicy as cabbages; if this is the case, add brine until the sprouts are just covered (they will release more juice in the next couple days).
Secure lid – slightly loose if using a mason jar, or clamped down if using a hermetic jar. Let ferment in a cupboard or covered with a towel for 4 weeks before refrigerating. The flavor will be bright and lemony. 🙂
For more detailed instructions, please see my recipe for Klassic Kraut.