Nine times out of ten, when sauerkraut is served in an American household, there is a big plate of sausages along side. Sauerkraut and sausage is a classic. And rightfully so, the sourness balances out the fattiness in the sausage and helps to brighten up a heavy meal.
Sauerkraut is much more versatile than we give it credit!
When you're working with an unfamiliar ingredient like sauerkraut, considering the basic flavors at play will make it much easier to come up with new and interesting recipes with the ingredients you have on hand.
First, look at the individual flavors of the ingredients and combine them intentionally.
There are six flavors to consider when putting together any kind of recipe:
Sweet and Umami: These are usually the dominant flavors. They can also help balance everything out.
Salty and Sour: These flavors are going to enhance the other flavors in your meal.
Bitter and Pungent: These flavors are going to add depth to the dish.
You can use the principles of flavor to figure out which other ingredients in your pantry will go well with sauerkraut.
If you enjoy the flavor of sauerkraut, adding salty ingredients like cheese, capers, olives, or any kind of meat will enhance the sourness. You can try sauerkraut inside a grilled cheese sandwich, mixed with capers in a cold pasta salad, or the classic, pair it with sausage and a good beer!
If you’re not sure if you like sauerkraut, use sweet flavors to mellow out that sourness. You can add sauerkraut and carrots to a spring roll, serve it with roasted beets in a salad, or try it with some seared scallops and a tangy sweet sauce.
Sour flavors can also brighten up heavy ingredients so try pairing it with grilled zucchini, tomatoes and eggs for breakfast, or on a mushroom pizza!
Sauerkraut is an intimidating food to start cooking with when you're unfamiliar with it. But once you've tried it a couple times you'll get a good feel for the flavor and how it interacts with other ingredients.
Once you know the principles behind how flavors and textures interact, you can create amazing meals with any ingredient!
Ready to give it a try!?
Grab the recipe for mushroom, sauerkraut, and butternut squash pizza from The Casual Veggie launch party!