Again and Again we tell you about how the people in our neighbourhood in Mecklenburg delight us. All the wonderful, inspiring acquaintances contribute a lot to us feeling so home here. You have probably already read about one of them, Olaf Schnelle*. We put his ideas to rearrange our garden to work and now have the beautiful perennials around our greenhouse. He gave us the crucial impulse to completely start over this season and to bring everything from the back part of our garden to the front of the greenhouse. The work paid off!

We’ve been following Olaf’s work enthusiastically for years and are happy about the exchange with a professional for gardening and fermenting like him. About the last topic we’ve been talking recently when we visited him in his garden. We raved about his wild romantic paradise and how it inspired us in another article. In his garden, it is so easy for us to let our minds wander and to get creative. Together, we tinkered some recipes in which Olaf’s ferments where the main part, plus some vegetables from his nursery, roasted over open fire. A perfect combination. The result were five different dishes. It was an exciting, creative process which culminated in a delicious dinner!

Our little summer BBQ menu included a refreshing cucumber drink with dill and the juice of Olaf’s sauerkraut with grand fir. The stems of the lettuce Olaf marinated in oil and his fermented chili paste. He mixed fermented lavender beet with dill and a bit of olive oil to a dressing. We were especially inspired by the stems of the flowering lettuce because we never thought about them being edible. Learning never stops!

Our contribution to the BBQ were savoury buns stuffed with tarragon, fermented mustard and a bit honey, a vegetable stir-fry of young fennel, onions and fermented beet root. Additionally, young baked celery which we marinated in the brine of fermented celery with quinces and a bit of salt and honey. Some of the ferments we served as antipasti with oil and herbs, and ready was our special dinner.

At the moment, we are occupied with fermenting, preserving and pickling, or dehydrating to preserve our garden’s harvest. It is pretty time consuming, but we feel more than ever how rewarding a large pantry is. When we lack the time for cooking – or the inspiration – we can easily transform a despicable dish into a culinary delight.

If you don’t have the leisure to experiment, you will find everything you need in Olaf’s shop: beet with woodruff, carrot with elderberry, horseradish mustard, sauerkraut with grand fir, celery with quince or thyme, white beet with lavender, coleslaw, chili paste, herb salt and other exciting ferments are ready for your order. Of course, we have tried almost everything and created, for example, a bean salad with white beet, hummus with fermented beet, or potato pancake with fermented red cabbage. You also find the recipes at Olaf’s. Check it out!

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