Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Radish Kraut

In preparation for CSA season, I've been looking into some alternative ideas for radishes.  They seem to be the black sheep of the summer vegetable family, always filling the CSA "swap box" and making their way back to the farmers compost pile. 

I know the drill- grab a bunch of vibrant radishes at the market, shave two or three into a salad and then store the rest in back of your fridge where you keep your good intentions. It's just that radishes rot quicker. 

I believe the radish has much more potential than we give it credit for. This simple recipe is one of my ploys to save radish from such fates.  Since they belong to the brassica family (cabbages) they'll usually act like a cabbage in preparation application - this is a form of sauerkraut, and works well anywhere you might enjoy it.  On a hot dog, with some nice würst,  they're great on a burger or piled next to a strong gouda.

If you have the notion to improvise, you can add sliced garlic, grated carrots, fresh or dry chili's etc. etc. to this recipe. 

Radish Kraut

1 lb. Radishes (454g)
1 tbsps kosher salt, (12 g or .4 oz.)

Before you proceed, know that everything used in every part of this process was cleaned and rinsed very well.  You don't want anything funky (biological or chemical) hanging out in your radish kraut.

1. Cut the radishes in 1/4 inch thick coins.  I use a mandolin for even slices.
2. Toss the radishes, coating them evenly with the salt.
3. Pack the radishes tightly into a vessel, (preferably glass or ceramic) and weight them down.  I used a smaller lid that fit inside my jar and placed a heavy glass vase on top to weight it down.  When the radishes start to release water, it will be enough to submerge them. 
4. Place them out in a cool dry place for seven to ten days.  Along the way it will take on a sour small and some white scum may form on the surface of the liquid, just scoop it off and toss it - it's no big deal. (also, you may want to store this in an out of the way place because it takes on a certain aroma during fermentation.)

The longer it sits out, the more sour it will become.  Feel free to taste it throughout the process, once it's sufficiently sour to your taste buds, you can remove the weight and transfer it to the fridge.
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