Beetroot and Horseradish Kraut

Fermented Vegetables Instructions

One of our neighbours has a bit of an inner city permaculture garden going which grows a lot of horseradish and we feel pretty lucky to be recipients of that. We put it into mayonnaise, sour cream, and grate it and cover with vinegar into little jars. Fresh horseradish is pretty powerful so you might want to sport some goggles for this job.

My dear friend Larry (from Chicago days) told me how there used to be horseradish ‘graters’ stopping by houses to grate horseradish fresh from atop a horse and cart, the customers holding out special wooden boxes for storing. Mobile knife sharpeners are back in our lives, coming to various local café every month or two, imagine going around with fresh horseradish now.

This ferment is both sour and sweet from the beets, and is particularly gorgeous served with (kefir) crème fraîche on a potato latke or cream cheese on dark rye.


2 beetroots about 300

1 green or red cabbage (approx. 1kg)

30 g (1 oz) salt

2 peeled shallots – anyway you’d like – sliced thinly, or in half or even left whole

1 tablespoon dill seeds, or a dill frond tucked down the side

1 tablespoon (or to taste) fresh horseradish, minced (if fresh is hard to come by, prepared is OK)*

1 tablespoon ground black pepper


  1. Peel the beetroots and grate them. Alternatively, top and tail them and instead of grating, you could cut into thin rounds, stack them and then slice that stack very finely. Sometimes that is the cleaner way to do it and thicker pieces ferment a bit crunchier.
  2. Chop or grate the cabbage very finely.
  3. Combine the beetroot and cabbage, weigh to work out your salt (you’ll want 1.5-2%) and then in a nice large bowl or container, and add the salt mixing it through very well.  Leave to sit for a good 20 minutes to get as much juice as possible. Do the squeeze test – grab a handful and squeeze – hopefully you’ll have water running out. If you don’t then you may need to massage or pound the beets and cabbage until that happens. Or let them sit a bit longer.
  4. Add the shallots whole if you’d like to tuck them down the sides of the jar, or chop finely and mix them in. Add the seeds, horseradish and pepper and combine well before jarring.
The sugar is higher in this remember, so an air-lock system is preferable to spillage and burping.  Always leave a nice inch or two headroom – enough to leave room in the jar after you’ve lined the top with a cabbage leaf and a weight.


As usual - after a couple of weeks fermenting in room temperature, open, taste test and refrigerate once deemed ready. 

*if buying prepared horseradish look for one with the fewest additives.  


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