A few years back I came across a recipe for vegetable bouillon in one of the many books on my shelf entitled Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning. Since I had heaps of parsley, celery, and leeks in the garden, it felt like the most appropriate way to preserve the bounty. After mincing, I mixed in Maine sea salt and applied a lid to the jar.
A few weeks/months later, I was left with a savory, salty mix that was perfect for adding to soups and stews. The umami quality of this home made product was quite superior to those you find on supermarket shelves which as often loaded with less than excellent ingredients.
Maine grown celery is pretty intense and has a lot more "oomph" than your average stalk coming from California or beyond. It's tough, leafy, and damn flavorful! In the past I have used celery as a way to use less salt in my ferments. Not that I feel sea salt is bad, it was more of an experiment to see if the sodium content of celery was enough to help preserve the cabbage during fermentation. Well, it works and in the fall, I will often add celery from the garden to my ferments and use just a touch less salt.
Today we close out our 5 Days of Ferments with a combo of purple cabbage, sea salt, celery, leeks, and parsley. This savory combo will make a lovely side to winter soups and stews.
- 5 pounds purple cabbage
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
- 1 small bunch celery, about 2-3 cups chopped
- 1 leek, split in half, washed well.
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
Trim and wash the veggies then slice the celery, including the tops, and the leek. Roughly chop the parsley then combine in a large bowl with the celery and leeks.
Remove and reserve a few outer leaves of the cabbage then cut in half, quarter, and remove the core. Slice the cabbage thin and add to the bowl.
Sprinkle in the salt and massage. Continue until the bottom of the bowl has a 1/2 cup or so of liquid.
Pack into a jar, top, and let stand at room temperature for 5-10 days. Taste, and once soft and tangy, transfer to the fridge to store.
My passion for sauerkraut and fermentation in general has allowed me to make great use of a wide variety of ingredients and can be enjoyed throughout the year. If you enjoyed this series of kraut and wish to deepen your knowledge of fermentation, check out my upcoming Fermentation Fundamentals course which begins in early September.