Monday, January 28, 2013

Cooked Red Cabbage with Red Wine Vinegar

Red cabbage doesn't get much love.  People often use it as eye candy in salads, but they rarely cook with it. I was that way myself until I hosted a potluck for a vegetarian cooking class ten years ago. One man brought his mother's recipe for sweet and sour red cabbage.  I can't remember whether it was the big hit at this potluck, but it was the most memorable recipe for me.

Since then, I've become a big fan of red cabbage.  For one thing, it's loaded with nutrients, in fact, red  beats green cabbage in all nutrient categories.  Red cabbage has twice the amount of antioxidants than  green cabbage.  Antioxidants called anthocyanins, the ones responsible for color, have also been found to be beneficial in memory retention.  Also, while vegetables are generally not considered a source of beneficial oils, both red and green cabbage offer a small amount of Omega-3 oils.

And as for whether cooked or raw is better, consider this: cabbage belongs to the cruciferous family and these vegetables contain goitrogens which can interfere with thyroid function.  Load up on too many raw cruciferious vegetables and you could put your thyroid at risk.

Some cabbage lovers go for flavor.  According to this blogger, the taste is the same when cooked, but he also pointed out that the price of red cabbage is usually a bit higher than green.

Best advice: choose red over green cabbage, it's worth the increased price.
You'll need one sweet-tart apple for this dish, too.  Some people like more tart apples like Newton Pippin or Granny Smith.  Use the apple you like, just not a gala or very sweet variety.

 As long as it smells like an apple, some dogs are happy.

I got the cabbage at Nash's Organic Produce.  Nash offers lots of cabbage this time of year.  Lots of people think coleslaw is perfet on the fourth of July, but local cabbages are harder to find in the summer, they're more of a fall and winter staple in the Northwest.

I used a mandoline slicer (not a fancy expensive one, but an attachment to a salsa maker that I got at a fair) to get really thin slices of cabbage.  A sharp knife works too.  I grated the apple with a boxy stand-up grater.  (Ignore the amount of moisture in the grated apple, it will all blend in with the cooked cabbage in the end.  My Cooking Assistant and his sister split the core to eat, minus the seeds. 

I also tried a new brand of extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe.  It's supposed to have a higher smoke point than other extra-virgin olive oils.   It's not local, but no olive oil is around here.  I will find out more about this oil for a future post.

Cooked Red Cabbage with Red Wine Vinegar
(Serves 4 to 6)
This recipe adapted from Local Vegetarian Cooking, which is apparently available new at Amazon for $134.  Seriously? If you want a copy for $10 plus shipping, contact me.

1 medium sweet-tart apple 
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or canola oil
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped Mama Lil's peppers (or use 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
4 cups thinly shredded red cabbage
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 to 4 tablespoons Florida crystals (sugar)
1/4 cup water
Sea salt

1. Grate the apple up to the core.  Discard core.  Toss apple with lemon juice.

2. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat.   Add oil, onion, peppers and garlic.  Stir and cook for a few minutes.  

3. Add cabbage and stir until cabbage is coated with oil.  Add apples, vinegar, Florida crystals and water.

4. Stir, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until cabbage is soft and flavors have mingled.   Add sea salt to taste.


Joan said...

yum, delish! I'm going to try this tonight as I just happen to have red cabbage in my fridge. I love it and the green but usually buy the red, it's the color I guess. Thanks for sharing!

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

Hi Joan. Thanks for stopping by. I love that you love veggies as much as I do. The red cabbage is so stunning, I love it, too.

Joan said...

Das ist wunderbar! I must report. I made this last night and I must say it is like the rot kraut we had in Germany! I did't have the peppers so had to make that change but we've been hardpressed to find a such an authentic recipe!
Thanks again! it's a keeper!

Miz Helen said...

Hi Debra,
I just love Red Cabbage with Vinegar, it is so good. I know Finn just loves it too. Have a great week and thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen