Oh Sauerkraut, people either love it or hate it, it seems there is no gray area where fermented cabbage is concerned. I happen to love sauerkraut, but even if you are not a fan don’t be too quick to brush off this recipe for Sauerkraut salad, surprisingly you can hardly taste the sauerkraut.
Sauerkraut has a long history in the Finger Lakes, the charming little village of Phelps, NY was at one time of the largest producers of sauerkraut in the world, earning the distinction of being sauerkraut capital of the world. While the kraut heyday of Phelps has come and gone. Ontario County farmers are credited as one of the largest producers of cabbage worldwide. And where there is cabbage kraut is not far behind. Sauerkraut is the result of a cabbage preservation method of pickling. Shredded cabbage is packed in salt, where it ferments to create that wonderful distinctive tangy taste with a long storage life.
Phelps still celebrates its unique history with an annual Sauerkraut Festival the first full weekend in August. Complete with plenty of sauerkraut to eat and activities for the family, like cabbage bowling, and cabbage head decorating, and a Sauerkraut Recipe contest.
I will be joining the fun entering the recipe contest with a sauerkraut based dish, although I am not sure what I am making just yet…
But to get into the spirit of things I decided to share my favorite sauerkraut salad recipe. This is an old recipe that actually comes from The Rochester Junior League Cookbook Applehood and Motherpie, and is seriously awesome. Yes, even if you don’t like sauerkraut.
If you are having a hard time wrapping your head around the flavor combinations of sauerkraut, vinegar, sugar, pepper, celery and onion, all you need to imagine is seven-day slaw. I have no idea how, or why but Sauerkraut Salad tastes very much like a vinegar-dressed coleslaw.
It takes a little bit of time for all the flavors to come together, so this salad is best if made the day before and it will be served. And while the original recipe says it lasts forever, I recommend 2 weeks refrigerated.
- 1 quart sauerkraut, drained
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1/2 cup chopped peppers, Use a combination of red and green bell peppers. If red peppers are not available use a 2-ounce jar of drained pimentos for color
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- In a large bowl, mix together sauerkraut, onion, celery, bell peppers, pimientos if using. Set aside this mixture.
- In a bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, and vinegar.
- Pour sugar mixture over salad, cover, and leave it in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving.