Bubbling up

Bubbling up: There's no hocus-pocus to it. It's simply the technique behind foods like sauerkraut and kimchi and old-school pickles. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

2 medium apples, peeled, cored, chopped, about 4 cups

1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 cup raw apple cider

Filtered water

Place the cabbage in a bowl; toss with the salt. Massage the cabbage to release the liquid until reduced to one-third the size. Toss in the apples, mustard seeds and caraway. Transfer cabbage mixture and the liquid to a 1-quart jar; add the cider. Push the mixture down into the jar, leaving 1 inch of space at the top. Cover the mixture with filtered water. Secure the lid and air lock. Place in a cool, dark location. Ferment for 2 weeks, then remove the air lock, submerge the mixture, cover with an air-tight lid, and refrigerate for up to 1 month. It is ready to consume after 1 week in refrigeration but will last for up to 2 months when refrigerated.

Sweet and salty pickled vegetables

Prep: 1 hour
Rest: 6 hours
Makes: 1 pint

Note: From "Mastering Fermentation" by Mary Karlin. Many other vegetables can be pickled with this brine. Onions and shallots are particularly good.

Ingredients:

2 small unpeeled carrots, cut into 1-inch-long matchsticks

3 large radishes, cut into matchsticks

4 green onions (with 1/2 inch of green part), quartered lengthwise

1 piece (1 inch long) fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks

1/4 cup steamed edamame beans

1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt

1 pint sweet and salty pickling brine, see recipe

1. Combine carrots, radishes, green onions, ginger and edamame in a bowl. Toss with the salt.

2. Pack the vegetables into a pint jar; cover with the pickling brine to 1 inch from the top. Press down on the vegetables to pack tightly and release some of their moisture. Cover the opening with cheesecloth; set at room temperature for 6 hours. Remove the cheesecloth, secure with an air lock or regular lid and refrigerate. Best used from 3 days to 1 week.

Sweet and salty pickling brine:
Combine 2 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt and 1 cup filtered water, whisking to dissolve the salt. Combine this basic brine with 3/4 cup raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon brine from sauerkraut (optional, but preferred) in a nonreactive bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon raw, unfiltered honey until dissolved. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon whole grain Dijon-style mustard. Keep refrigerated in a covered jar. Makes: 1 pint