Dutch Red Cabbage

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I love cabbage. Specifically I love red cabbage. My favorite way to eat it involves no recipe at all, just a chop and chew while standing dreamily in my kitchen. Red cabbage is an all-star vegetable. It a beautiful vegetable with so many interesting layers and patterns as well as having a great crunch and spiciness. Plus eating red cabbage = total happiness for my stomach, it is a vegetable that is seriously good for you.

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More often than not, I tend to eat my red cabbage raw. It is a great addition to salads,  awesome with an apple chopped through it, topped with nuts or as a coleslaw.  I discovered this recipe a few years ago at my Grandmother’s. We had some cabbage that needed to be used up, so my grandmother suggested that we make this recipe. My Grandmother has a good palette (I love listening to her talk about the difference between margarine and butter in baked goods) and this dish is no exception. Apples are added in with the cabbage, which are cooked in a spiced vinegar bath to bring to a great level of sweet, sour and spice.

I have made this dish several times since. This time I added celeriac root, which gave it nice balance. I spiced it with cloves, cinnamon, ginger and chili pepper.  It is the type of dish that can be flavored to your liking, so feel free to play around a bit.  I think it would also be great with some caraway, or perhaps a splash of sesame oil.

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It acts as a great side dish, is tasty as a garnish on top of meat, and a great addition to salads. I am also curious to make some of the left overs into a soup and see what happens. Traditionally this recipe is meant to be enjoyed warm, however I think it is best next day cold. For me that is when all of the flavors really come through, each bite delivering a new sensation.

We just got a great dump of snow in Montreal. Though, I have admittedly not been outside today, it has been fantastic to look at the window into the sea of fresh snow. So here is to winter and another great winter vegetable!

Dutch Red Cabbage

Please feel free to play around the ingredient quantities in this recipe as I have provided rough estimates (after all, each cabbage is different). This recipe will turn out better if you taste and add as you go. I cut my cabbage into small squares for the recipe, but feel free to cut into any style you want, thin long strips, grated into fine bits, etc. ~ RH

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 of a head of red cabbage 
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cooking apples
  • 1 celeriac root
  • 3-4 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 to 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Peel and dice the onions and garlic. Heat a mid-sized pot on medium heat on the stove. Add the olive oil, garlic and onions. Stir until translucent, 3 – 5 minutes.

Meanwhile wash the cabbage and remove and tough or wilted outside leaves. Chop in half length-wise and put one half aside. Chop the other half into small squares, or any way desired. Peel the celeriac root, removing the roots and skin. After washing the celeriac root grate using the mid-sized holes. Add the cabbage and celeriac root to the pot.

Wash, core and chopped the apples into small cubes. Add to the pot.

Add 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and all the spices and bay leaves. Allow to come to a small boil and then turn down the heat to simmer. Allow to cook for approximately one hour, or until the cabbage is soft, checking and stirring periodically. If needed add extra vinegar or adjust spices for taste.

When done allow to cool and enjoy!

As an after-note, as pointed out by my mother,  remember to take the cloves and  boy-leaves out. Thanks Mom 🙂 

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