Continuing down the path towards becoming a total fermentation maniac, I tried a new one this week: sauerrüben. It’s just like sauerkraut, except it’s made with turnips instead of cabbage.
I think I finally realized the whole purpose and meaning of turnips. I’ve cooked with them occasionally before, and was uninspired until now. But something magical happens to turnips when they are fermented.
Sauerrüben can be eaten just like you’d eat sauerkraut: with meat or mashed potatoes, or on top of pizza. I think it would be especially magical on a roast beef sandwich. It tastes like a mixture of sauerkraut and horseradish. WOW.
Here’s how I did it:
Grate some turnips. The number that you do is immaterial. (That’s Adam’s hand; he lost a couple fingertips in an accident as a child.)
Place the grated turnip in a bowl and salt (with a good quality sea salt) liberally, a good 1-3 T. depending on how many turnips you grated.
Put it into jars and set out overnight with a weighted insert to hold the turnips under the surface of the liquid that the salt draws out. In the morning, put the covers on the jars and ferment for another 2-3 days. Open your jar twice a day and press down your sauerrüben to release the gases that build up (or follow whatever fermentation style you prefer). Taste it at least once a day. When it tastes good to you, it’s done. Transfer to the fridge.
Here Adam served a dollop of it on the kids’ plates next to their ham and mashed parsnips. Dinner tasted like a holiday feast. The kids went wild for the sauerrüben and even drank the extra juice out of the half a pint jar that we finished.