Healthy Recipes

Cultured Cabbage Salad with Tarragon Kefir Dressing

Serves 4<br /> <br /> This recipe combines three fermented elements in one bowl. The starter culture is not necessary but recommended to ensure that your vegetables begin fermenting with a hardy strain of healthy bacteria. Plan ahead: The salad takes at least four days to make.

Cultured Cabbage Salad with Tarragon Kefir Dressing
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Cultured Cabbage
1 large or 2 small heads red cabbage, cored
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into pieces
2 beets, peeled and cut into pieces
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 packet culture starter (optional)

Cultured Sunflower Seeds (optional)
1 cup shelled sunflower seeds
Reduced-sodium tamari sauce to taste

Tarragon Kefir Dressing
1 cup plain lowfat kefir
2 Tbsp roasted pumpkin seed oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sea salt, or more to taste
1 Tbsp dried tarragon, crushed
1 pinch chipotle or cayenne pepper
1 pinch garlic powder


Cultured Cabbage
1. Remove 4 outer leaves from each head of cabbage; wash, dry, and set aside for step 8.

2. Rinse remaining cabbage, apple and beets under cold water and drain.

3. Shred the cabbage, apple and beets in 2 batches in a food processor. Transfer the shredded mixture to a large bowl.

4. Place 3 to 4 cups of this shredded mixture into a blender.

5. Add 2 cups or more of filtered water and blend well to make a "brine" that's the consistency of a thick vegetable juice. (For added safety, boil and cool the brine at this point.) If using culture starter, add it to the brine before returning the mixture to the bowl of apple and vegetables.

6. Mix all ingredients thoroughly.

7. Pack the mixture in a 2-quart glass jar that has been washed in hot, sudsy water and rinsed in very hot water. Use your fist, a wooden dowel or a potato masher to pack the mixture tightly into the jar, so that the rim of the jar is 4 to 5 inches above the cabbage and the brine covers the cabbage by at least 2 inches.

8. Roll up the reserved cabbage leaves into tight "logs" and place them into the remaining space. Cover with an airtight lid so that oxygen cannot enter the jar.

9. Let stand at room temperature (about 70 degrees) for at least 4 days and up to 14 days, then refrigerate. Cabbage mixture will keep for at least 8 weeks in the refrigerator; it becomes more sour with time.

Cultured Sunflower Seeds
1. Place the seeds in a glass jar and fill with water to 1 inch above the seeds. Set aside for 8 hours. Drain and let dry on paper towels. Place the seeds in a bowl and toss with the tamari sauce.

2. Heat the oven to 225 degrees. Spread seeds on a baking sheet and roast until they no longer stick together from the wetness of the tamari. Seeds will turn golden brown in 8 to 10 minutes.

Tarragon Kefir Dressing
1. Whisk together all ingredients. Set aside. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

cultured cabbage
2 heads organic romaine hearts
1 head organic green-leaf lettuce
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
2 large carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 cup crumbled feta (optional)
3 heaping Tbsp cultured sunflower seeds (optional)

1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle Tarragon Kefir Dressing over top and toss to combine.

Nutritional facts: 

Per serving: 223 calories, 33% fat (8 g; 1 g saturated), 52% carbs (29 g), 15% protein (8 g), 8 g fiber, 130 mg calcium, 406 mg sodium.