Monday, February 27, 2012

Braised Red Cabbage


A few years ago, doing something nice for myself meant getting a manicure, buying a new accessory, or treating myself to flowers.  Somewhere between then and now, to the dismay of my fashionista friends, I became a simpler person.  Content with a brisk walk and some people-watching.  Happy to listen to music that uplifts me and toss a ball with Roman.  And lately I am more concerned with what goes in my body than external flourishes.  I've discovered there are other ways to treat myself.  

This morning I thought about what to cook this week and I made a list of vegetables that we rarely eat anymore.  

-green beans
-brussels sprouts

I was surprised that the winter months had left me short on inspiration.  So I devised a plan for the week with the idea of varying our diet.  When I brought home this red cabbage, it felt like the equivalent of buying myself a bouquet of blooms.  Red cabbage is unbelievably healthy.  But forget about phytonutrients and antioxidants.  Just rest assured that this cruciferous vegetable does a body good. 


When Roman saw the big purple globe he wanted to eat it immediatley, never mind that it was raw.  Perhaps it was the allure of eating a purple vegetable.  I can't say he loved it, but maybe he will next time.  And until then, we're redefining the definition of treat in this household.

Braised red cabbage with apple and onion

Braised Red Cabbage with Apple and Onion
Adapted from Jane Brody's Good Food Book

Red cabbage turns blue when cooked unless you add vinegar.  Serve alongside sausage, pork chops or fish, or to keep it meat-free, try it mixed in with whole-wheat pasta.  For extra pop, add some toasted cumin or caraway seeds.  This can be eaten hot or cold.

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 red onion, chopped 
1 1/4 lbs red cabbage (one small head), cored and thinly sliced
1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Melt the butter in a large skilled and add the onion.  Saut√© for one minute.
Add the cabbage and apple and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
Combine the salt, pepper, brown sugar, water and vinegar.  Add this to the cabbage mixture.  
Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. 


  1. I didn't know the vinegar trick. Thanks. There could be something I'm forgetting, but I'm pretty sure the only blue food I find appealing is a blueberry. You know I'm with you on brisk walks and people watching. I like the way you treat yourself.

  2. Thanks Denise. I knew someone would understand!

  3. i am with you on ways to treat myself... my favorite ways are a walk/run/bike in the neighborhood and a cup of tea at the bookstore (or library...even better). I need to add red cabbage to my list of foods to-try-again-that-have-fallen-off-the-radar

    1. I think I will do this every week, start by planning a bit better and then we'll get to try some things we rarely eat. (Roman has been eyeing the eggplant very curious!)

  4. BF is like Roman in that he likes food because of its color... go figure...

    1. There's something to be said for an appreciation of color- it spices up life!

  5. Every time I cut open red cabbage I am astounded by the beautiful coloour and geometrical design. The recipe you posted reminds me very much of what my mother prepares for Christmas lunch to accompany the traditional Prussian goose recipe.

    1. Goose! That sounds delicious. I'm glad I'm not the only food nerd who gets excited when I cut into vegetables :)

  6. I understand how Roman could be attracted to that gorgeous cabbage. I devoured Jane Brody's books back in the day and still cook her oven-fried chicken legs from time to time.

    1. When my mom bought Jane Brody's books in the 80's my sister and I were horrified. It's funny that years later, we each have a copy and use it frequently! The oven fried chicken is a favorite of both of ours.

  7. Replies
    1. Aw, thanks Tracy! And here I thought this post was going to be a flop!

  8. I had grand plans for the red cabbage I bought recently and ended up eating it raw in a type of coleslaw; next time I will follow your idea, like it much better!

  9. You are right...sometimes I totally forget about cabbage although I truly love it. You have reminded me of this wonderful vegetable with your beautiful photos.

  10. wow a good information, i love the recipe
    thank you for sharing this veggies of yours.
    have a wonderful day to you.

  11. such a stunning shot of the bisected red cabbage. lately I've been putting slim slices into my green salad with apple and pear. but I should braise some your way--I have all the right ingredients.

  12. We enjoy this at Christmas. It's a favorite!

  13. Buying vegetables as a treat? I'm in for that! I've always thought of food as a reward, but it used to be unhealthy food, mainly sweet. I'll try to work on this idea. Thank you for the inspiration- and the recipe, I have half a red cabbage as a long term resident in my fridge that needs eviction...

  14. Cabbage, green beans and aubergines are foods we eat A LOT around here. I particularly love purple cabbage in salads, raw.
    Your recipe looks delicious, Nicole. I will give it a try the next time I get my hands on the purple beauty!

  15. you always amaze me with your work, very impressive .


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