Sauerkraut 2.0: Red Cabbage with Bay and Fennel

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

A fermentation follow-up to my caraway sauerkraut. Red cabbage instead of green, fennel seeds instead of caraway, with a couple dried bay leaves slipped in for contrast.

Again, it couldn’t be simpler — shred the cabbage, massage in some salt, mix in the herbs, transfer to a jar. In as few as two to three days later, sauerkraut! And this updated version, well, just look how lovely. Fantastic flavor, and blood-red in time for the spooky fun holiday in less than two weeks.

Red cabbage sauerkraut

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Composed Thai Steak Salad

Eat Well Edibles Grow Well Recipe

Happy summer, Friends!

When things heat up, we’re suckers for garden-driven recipes. Bonus points for those that don’t require cooking.

This gorgeous little number is refreshingly vibrant, with flavor notes pulled from the Thai cuisine playbook: sour lime, spicy chillies and ginger, salty fish sauce, and a hint of sweet maple. I just love how light, lovely and low-key it is — literally whisk, slice, plate, and voila.

Beef summer salad

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Black and Blue-Berry Slaw

Eat Well Edibles Grow Well Recipe

Do you know the old riddle: What’s black and white and re(a)d all over? Depending on who you ask, the answer is a zebra wearing lipstick, an embarrassed skunk, a sunburned penguin, an angry ref, a newspaper.

Here’s a new chestnut for you: What’s black and blue and red all over? This summertime slaw showcasing the deep, dark hues of red cabbage, red onion, blueberries, and aged balsamic vinegar.

Okay, the joke’s not memorable, but the recipe is.

Black and blue salad ingredients

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An Ireland Travelogue + Beer-Steamed Mussels with Cabbage, Leeks and Smoky Bacon

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

There’s something magical about Ireland.

Dun Briste

Dun Briste, Downpatrick Head, County Mayo, Ireland

We fell madly in love during our holiday earlier this year, gaining a special fondness for the country’s western coast affectionately known as the Wild Atlantic Way. Its fresh sea air, bracingly powerful winds, fields of scrubby heather, near-daily rainbows, and millions of scruffy sheep. Its rugged shores, dramatic cliffs and breathtaking views. Its universal small-town feeling and general friendliness graciously extended to wayfaring strangers.

Unsurprisingly we frequently found ourselves deep in conversation with the locals – typically about eating and drinking, preferably over a bowl of something steamy or a pint of something dark and frothy. In addition to their excellence at preparing their bounty skillfully and serving it generously, the Irish speak with intense pride about the things they grow, raise, harvest, make, brew and cook. There is literally a story behind every mouthful, and we attempted to unravel each.

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Caraway Sauerkraut

Eat Well Recipe

Sauerkraut is one of the simplest preserved foods, made by curing shredded cabbage with salt in a crock or jar. The drained liquid — drawn out of the cabbage by the salt through the process of osmosis — becomes the kraut’s flavorful, self-preserving brine. But there’s another process at work here, and it involves wee beasties. Bacteria.

Let’s set the record straight: Bacteria aren’t all bad. Several types of these microorganisms are very bad indeed, but others are beneficial, and necessary, to the processing of many foods. Take Lactobacillus. This bacteria is crucial to the creation of everything from pickles, yogurt and miso, to kimchi, sourdough and sauerkraut. Wine and beer? Those, too!

In the case of kraut, Lactobacillus converts the natural sugars found in cabbage to lactic acid through a process called lactic acid fermentation, or lacto-fermentation for short. This conversion ultimately imparts the appealingly acidic flavor we associate with sauerkraut. Furthermore, lactic acid is a natural preservative that prevents growth of more harmful bacteria — particularly important historically when fresh ingredients were scarce and refrigeration was a thing of the future.

Through the years the art of preservation persisted, more to satisfy our tastes than as a means of nourishment during the lean winter months. Though popularity has come in spurts and stops, sauerkraut and other fermented foods once again have a strong pulse. Encouraged by my German heritage, it felt about time to try my hand at homemade sauerkraut.

Cabbage head_HGN

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