I grew up eating pickled cabbage by a bowl-full. It is possibly embarrassing, but I add it to soups, salads, maybe even mashed potatoes. Or eaten on its own, dressed up with sunflower oil, a touch of sugar and onions, it is simply delicious. And as a pickled item, I am naturally obsessed with it.
Why have I not made this before is a good question. I do not have an answer, but am happy to report that following my Dad’s recipe, my first attempt was successful. Special thanks goes out to the Artist who shredded the carrots and massaged the cabbage.
Russian-Style Pickled Cabbage and Carrots
3 small heads of green cabbage
1/4 cup Kosher salt
6 carrots, peeled
1. Core and thinly slice the cabbage. You can do it by hand or in a food processor. Do not slice too thinly, or the cabbage will not hold its shape once pickled. You want the cabbage to remain crisp.
2. Mix cabbage and salt in a large stainless steel pot. Massage the salt into the cabbage – this is the part where you can pretend you are punching someone, or giving someone a deep tissue massage – you pick. The point is to draw out the juices from the cabbage.
3. Shred the carrots and combine with the cabbage.
4. Place a weight on top of the vegetables – I used a plate topped with heavy cans. Keep the cabbage at room temperature for five days. Over this time you will see a fair amount of liquid accumulated around the plate – this is perfect!
5. Remove the weight on the sixth day and poke holes through the cabbage, going all the way to the bottom of the pot. According to my mom, this releases any possible bitterness.
6. Refrigerate the cabbage and eat in good health.
As I have mentioned earlier, I love to dress the cabbage with sunflower oil, sugar, and sliced green onions or chopped parsley. A touch of freshly ground black pepper is also very nice.
There are many variations for this recipe and I will make it many more times. Next time, I plan to add garlic, red pepper flakes, and shredded beets.
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