Cortido (aka curtido) is a variation on sauerkraut that hails from El Salvador. It is typically served in that country alongside a dish called pupusas.
I enjoy “regular” sauerkraut well enough (I’ve blogged about it before: here and here), but was looking for something else to make with my homegrown cabbage in honor of the Preserve the Bounty Challenge going on over at Nourished Kitchen. I found a recipe for Cortido in the book Nourishing Traditions, then toyed with it a bunch to get what you see here.
This recipe is made using the lacto-fermentation method. Lacto-fermentation is how I make my pickles and lots of other health-enhancing goodies…it’s my favorite way to preserve vegetables. Lacto-fermented foods are live foods- high in nutrients, as well as enzymes and natural probiotics. They also taste great.
Most lacto-fermented vegetable recipes do not contain vinegar: they rely solely on salt for preservation. This recipe differs a bit, because it uses both.
Please note that the fresh ginger, green apple, and kale are my own additions to cortido… I know this isn’t how it’s made in El Salvador. Please also note that you really taste the vinegar in here; if you aren’t a fan of vinegar, you’ll want to use less of it, and add more water.
I shredded everything for this recipe in my food processor. I used the fine shredding disc, but you can use the thin shredding one, if you prefer. You could also shred everything by hand.
This cortido is really flavorful. I’ve been mixing it into salads and wraps, and it went great with a chorizo and potato dish I made recently, as well. One of these days, I’ll try my hand at pupusas , too.
Once the initial fermentation is over, you can store your cortido in the refrigerator, where it will keep for 1-2 months. I’m sure you’ll think of lots of ways to use it in that time frame.
This post is linked to Two for Tuesdays!
Recipe for Lacto-Fermented Cortido
Makes 2 quarts
- *1 small head of cabbage outer leaves removed and cored
- *3 large carrots scrubbed (and peeled if not organic)
- *1 onion peeled
- *1 thumb sized piece of ginger peeled (use less if you aren't a ginger fan)
- *approximately 1-2 handfuls kale leaves tough stems removed
- *1 green apple cored (and peeled if not organic)
- *2-3 teaspoons dried oregano- optional
- *1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or more to taste
- *1 tablespoon sea salt
- *1 1/2 cups raw apple cider vinegar
- *1 1/2 cups water plus more if necessary
- 1. Shred cabbage through apple in a food processor (or chop fine by hand). Transfer to a large bowl and mix with oregano and red pepper flakes.
- 2. Spoon cabbage mixture into 2 quart-sized jars and press down with the back of a wooden spoon. Leave 1 inch of space between the top of the cabbage and the top of the jar.
- 3. In a small bowl, mix the salt with the vinegar and water. Pour evenly over both jars of the cabbage, then add more water to both, if needed, so that the liquid is level with the cabbage.
- 4. Cover jars tightly and leave at room temperature for 3 days. Store long-term in the refrigerator.