Cabbage is King
By Cheryl Forberg, RD
Cabbage is king. With hundreds of varieties to choose from, it’s easy, inexpensive, and loved the world over. From Korean kim chee, American coleslaw, Indian curry, Asian stir-fry and German sauerkraut, to Irish corned beef and cabbage – the possibilities are endless.
But it’s hard to like something if you’ve only tasted it when poorly prepared. Maybe you’ve only had soggy, overcooked cabbage - or perhaps you have bad memories of its unpleasant smell, due to the health-promoting sulphur compounds it possesses (along with fiber, potassium and Vitamin C). And then of course there’s sometimes that gas issue. But with a few simple cooking tips, you may find favor with its versatile flavor.
I am a big fan of everything in the cruciferous vegetable family:
broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and more. This recipe for braised red cabbage is one of my favorites. It’s quick and easy to prepare and delicious on its own, or with grilled or roasted meats. And, it tastes even better the second day.
The fresher the cabbage, the sweeter the flavor (and the thinner the leaves, the better the flavor).
The pigments in red cabbage contain acidic plant chemicals that “bleed” when cooked. By adding a touch of acid in the form of vinegar and/or apple, you can stop or minimize the bleeding.
Cabbage keeps well in the refrigerator for a week or more.
To prepare cabbage, simply quarter it, and cut away the hard core. Then it can be sliced or shredded.
To use the leaves for stuffed cabbage, freeze and then thaw the cabbage and the leaves will be soft and easy to separate and stuff.
Braised Red Cabbage
This recipe is adapted from The German Cookbook by Mimi Sheraton
Makes about 4 cups
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped (I used an Ambrosia apple)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 – 2 cups water
In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add sugar, stir well and cook for a few minutes, until the butter just starts to brown.
Add the apple and onion and cook for about 5 minutes over medium low heat.
Add the cabbage, toss well. Drizzle the vinegar over the cabbage, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Toss well.
Add 1 cup of water, toss well, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes and add more water if necessary.
Remove from heat, drain and serve by itself or as an accompaniment to roasted or grilled meats or poultry.