Finally I have a good use for the ocean of lemon balm that is overtaking my backyard. Seriously, this plant is ridiculous. It is pretty to look at, but I needed a way to get rid of it.
“You can’t stop it, you can only hope to contain it!”
Fine, I get it I am fighting a losing battle. Or am I. Lemon balm offers a citrusy flavor with some herbal notes. What might this lend itself to? How about some fermented foods? I know that making simple syrups and tea might be the answer, but if that is all I make I am either gonna have a drinking problem or never be able to leave the restroom.
The lemony flavor of the lemon balm seems to lend itself to the ideas and profile of sauerkraut. But, why stop there? Lemon sauerkraut doesn’t seem to show much creativity or depth of flavor.
In walks a good friend horseradish and we have a good and complex kraut that opens up some new doors of flavor. This ain’t just your run of the mill condiment any more.
1.5# Cabbage ( for this batch I used red cabbage)
1 1/3 T Kosher Salt
1 T Garlic Powder
1 T Fresh Rosemary
1 tsp Dry Ginger
1.5 oz Lemon Balm Leaves
3 T Prepared Horseradish
6-8 oz Jicama (cut into match Sticks)
For a more in depth look at fermentation, there are plenty of sights online and books that can help you further understand all the different processes, but I am just introducing a different flavor profile. for a quick introduction recipe and hints to sanitation you can check http://mistakenchef.com/not-your-grandmas-cabbage/. But, just like any other food preparation technique or methodology, don’t take this to bible but it worked for me.
- Crush, pound, and stomp the cabbage with the salt, garlic, rosemary and ginger for about 8 minutes until cabbage becomes somewhat wilted.
- Mix in the lemon balm, horseradish, and jicama until well incorporated. I used whole lemon balm leaves this time but intend to use a smaller cut next time.
- Pour all the contents into a jar and press down until the fledgling kraut is fully submerged.
- Put a lid on the jar and watch the magic
- every couple of days push down the contents to release any gases and ensure the contents are fully submerged in the brine.
- For this kraut I believe I will be going for 4 week fermentation before refrigerating. I am currently at week 1 and the flavors are already popping. Can’t wait!
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