Market Fresh: Apples

The Green Table's quick apple sauerkraut is the perfect pork companion

Winter isn't officially here yet, but our instinct to build up a little natural protection from the cold is kicking in, giving us the perfect excuse to dig into heartier, heavier meals. These days, eating seasonally makes us think of roast pork, buttery mashed potatoes and a sweet-tart sauerkraut made from in-season apples and cabbage.

Classic sauerkraut requires a huge time investment, but Brent Sims, the chef at the Green Table in the Chelsea Market, has developed an excellent recipe that doesn't need months of fermentation and a huge crock to prepare.

The Green Table was one of the city's first restaurants to focus on seasonal, local ingredients. Like most of its menu, this sauerkraut is heartwarming, upscale comfort food. Sims suggests serving it with pork chops, sausages and mustard, or simply a cold German beer.

Quick Apple-Cabbage Sauerkraut

Makes about 1 gallon

1 large head of green cabbage, cored and shredded

5 Granny Smith apples, julienned or coarsely grated

1/4 cup kosher salt

2 cups dry white wine

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 bay leaves

5 juniper berries

1. In a large, nonreactive container, mix all the ingredients well. Place a similarly sized container on top and weight it down to submerge the cabbage and apples in the liquid that forms. Set the container in a cool place (50˚ to 70˚) for 24 hours.

2. Remove the weight and taste the sauerkraut: If it's too salty, rinse what you're going to cook under running water to reduce the saltiness. If you're not going to use it immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

3. To serve, gently simmer the sauerkraut until hot throughout.

The Green Table, 75 Ninth Ave. (at 16th St.); 212-741-6623 or cleaverco.com