Fermented Health Salad

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When I was younger and just moved right outside of NYC from Wisconsin, my grandmother’s husband knew the city like the back of his hand.  He insisted on taking us to the 2nd avenue deli on a semi-regular basis.  When going to one of these restaurants with Grandpa Bill, you were told what you were going to eat.  We always were given a hot corned beef and a side of health salad.  I remember loving this lunch the few times I went, but it has been at least a decade since the last time I was there.

This may or may not resemble the health salad at the 2nd avenue deli, now that I am so removed from my last meal there, but I remember peppers, a brine-salt flavor, and lots of vegetables.  I left this to ferment for 2 weeks before eating, but I’m sure it would still be delicious after a few days.  I hope you’ll give this a shot, and even pass it along to some of your meatless amigos.

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Ingredients
1/2 head cabbage thinly sliced (reserve one outer leaf)
1/2 red bell pepper and green bell pepper, thinly sliced and chopped
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/3 red onion, thinly sliced and chopped
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp salt
brine solution of water and 1 Tbsp salt

Method

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Using a sharp knife, or mandolin, prepare the cabbage, bell pepper, carrot, and red onion.  If you have a microplane, use that to grate the ginger and then add to the vegetables.

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In a large mixing bowl, mix the vegetables with the tsp of salt, and allow to sit for a 5 minutes to extract some moisture from the vegetables.  Then squeeze the mixture thoroughly to release any excess moisture.

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Place vegetables in a canning jar (we use the Ball wide-mouth 24oz canning jars), and use one of the outer leaves of the head of cabbage to contain the vegetables.  Then pour the salt water into the jar until covering the leaf.

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We allowed it to ferment on the windowsill for 2 weeks, but I’m sure after 3 days this would be a delicious treat.  I really like sour, fermented foods, and if you do too, take the time to grow a beard or watch this video.

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Once you’re ready to eat, feel free to scoop it out into a bowl and enjoy!  It will keep sealed in the refrigerator for at least a week.

AND, be sure to head over to Saveur’s 4th annual Best Food Blog Awards right now and vote for my friend Russ Crandall’s website, The Domestic Man, in the special diet category.  If you haven’t already seen his amazing website already, go do that, once you’ve voted.  The contest ends this Friday, April 19th at midnight.

If you need still convincing, I’ll have more proof tomorrow.  Stay tuned…

4 thoughts on “Fermented Health Salad

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