Friday, 5 September 2008

Red Cabbage

I have to admit that I’m generally not a lover of cabbage, however, there is one exception and that’s red cabbage.

Red cabbage differs from all other types in that rather than being cooked quickly so that it doesn’t go limp and smelly and lose their flavour (remember those old school dinners?), the red variety can be cooked slowly and with it’s lovely sweet flavour makes a perfect accompaniment to all sorts of meats but is especially nice served alongside poultry and pork.

One of the really good things about red cabbage is that they last ages in the cupboard - longer than their white cousins - so although they’re a relatively large vegetable, especially for those who are living alone or as a couple, they’ll still get used up before they go off. Mine usually last for about 2 weeks in the cupboard although they do keep longer in the fridge but I’ve found the taste isn’t quite as good then.

Red cabbage has the highest vitamin C content of all cabbages and also contains more iron, potassium and calcium than any other type. It’s also low in calories - about 30 calories per 100g portion - and it contains plenty of fibre too. How can you go wrong?

Apart from shredded raw in salads, it’s probably best know when used in sauerkraut, or pickled red cabbage, but there are plenty of other ways of preparing it. It can be used in coleslaw, boiled plain, sautéed, braised or used in casseroles. In fact, when it comes to casseroles, it‘s the only cabbage worth using. And because, when prepared, they don't look like your typical cabbage, fussy children who say they don't like cabbage will often eat them anyway.

Thanks to their long growing season, British red cabbages are available throughout most of the year and are always a popular choice at Christmas (beat those disgusting Brussel sprouts, any day!) or as part of a winter side salad. Served as a warm side vegetable, it brings colour to the plate, something I always feel makes a meal look more appetizing.

If you’ve tried the white, pointy or savoy types and not liked them, don’t let that put you off. Red cabbages are different and unless you try one, you just won’t know whether you like it.

Quick Recipe: Red Cabbage & Apple

Half a large red cabbage, finely sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 large apple, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or malt vinegar if that’s all you have)
1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
A small handful of currants (optional)
Enough water to just about cover ingredients
Salt & pepper

1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion. Sweat for about 5 minutes while stirring.

2. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for about 45 minutes under a lid, stirring occasionally, or until most of the water has evaporated.

Can be served hot or cold and tastes delicious. It can also be made beforehand and chilled or frozen, which is always handy, then reheated by adding a little water to the pan and simmering for about 15 minutes.

Sharon J


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Anonymous said...

ooohhh I just love cabbage - but it's white cabbage that does it for me! I could eat it until the cows come home and you've got me thinking about ti at 8.53 in the morning!!

emmani said...

Cabbage all the way for me too! Butter and a little grating of nutmeg... thanks for the recipe Sharon, looks yummy.

ramtops said...

We love this, and eat it a lot in the winter. It goes really well with mashed potato.

And, in case you didn't know, it freezes really well too.

mac @

Dattern din! :P said...

hmm... Vi har nettopp spist ferdig en vanlig kål, men kan jo alltid prøve rødkål neste gang! :) (forresten, hvordan er prompinga på rødkål iforhold til den hvite?

Ville også veldig gjerne prate med deg om en ting.. Derfor jeg tar dette på norsk. Har på en måte innsett at den retningen jeg har ønsket å gå frem til nå ikke har fungert, så vurderer å endre yrkesretning helt, og tenker dermed på å prøve meg på regnskap.. jeg er god i matte, trives med matte, kan data og spesielt viktig så har jeg et godt grunnlag med excel-kunnskaper.... leste om yrket i går og det kreves ingen spesiell utdannelse, selv om det er en fordel, og NKI har tre kurs som til sammen kommer til ca. 20.000,- fordelt mellom seg.... Dette er noe jeg føler jeg har litt tro på at jeg er i stand til å gjøre, fikk smake litt på kontorarbeid hos Bohus og likte det veldig godt og... vil bare høre hva din formening er om det, ettersom du er mamman min og er vel kanskje den som kjenner meg best... :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not back to talk more about cabbage, though it's definatly on my plate tonight, more to say, I've nominated you for an award on my blog!

Sharon J said...

@ Apieceofwood. White cabbage is good, but red cabbage is better. Shall we fight over it? LOL.

And an award, eh? Blimey. I'd better nip over and take a look then :)

@ Emmani. Never tried it with nutmeg. Must give that a go. Thanks for the tip :)

@ Ramtops. My daughter loves it with mash too. Better put that on the next fortnight's menu plan.

@ Dattern din! (Should anybody be wondering, that's my daughter wondering whether red cabbage makes you fart the way ordinary cabbage does). Unfortunately, darling, my lack of bowel means I can't fart so I can't tell you. I can't say I get any problems with wind from it though.

Notes From The Frugal Trenches said...

As soon as I saw the cabbage I thought, ooh I love red cabbage with apple! how funny!
Thanks for the recipe!

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