Recipe: Red Cabbage Tarragon Sauerkraut

By supplementing with herbs as you salt the cabbage for sauerkraut, you tweak the brine enough to add another dimension.

by Rachael Dupree
PHOTO: Rachael Dupree

When I ponder the most traditional uses of herbs in the kitchen, I think of the classic dill pickle. However, when extrapolating the idea of herbs in pickles, you need not be limited to cucumbers or other vegetables packed in vinegar. I love to make sauerkraut at home by salting shredded cabbage (or turnips, carrots, beets, rutabaga and so on) and weighing it down so it’s able to ferment in its own brine.

After a few weeks, the mixture sours, and you’re left with something vastly better than the commercially produced sauerkraut. I love adding tarragon to my sauerkraut—its complexly sweet licorice notes are a pleasant complement to the sauerkraut’s sourness.


8 servings


  • 1 pound shredded red cabbage
  • 1 handful tarragon
  • 1/2 T. kosher salt


Mix cabbage, tarragon and salt in deep bowl, mass­aging and pounding the mixture to open cell walls and extract water from cabbage. Place weights on top of cabbage and let rest for two to three weeks. As water releases, make sure cabbage is submerged and skim off any mold.

When the cabbage is nearly aglow with pink color, it is ready. If not, let it sit longer.

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