team cabbage: braised cabbage with apples & cumin seeds

braised cabbage

Ah spring, you are a fickle one. It’s back to rain here in Vancouver (well, for the moment at least) and while I look at my cute sandals and summer skirts longingly, I’m doing what feels right. So what if it involves slippers, a wooly cardigan and remembering this braised cabbage dish I made a couple of weeks back. This was a side to poached black cod and braised carrots – a simple meal but a good, comforting one.

braised cabbage

This side dish is simple to prepare and truth be told, I could easily snack away on a big bowlful of the stuff. The cabbage cooks down with apples, onions and some cumin seeds and a shock of cider vinegar. It’s mellow and sweet but with an edge and for me it’s a truly comforting dish. For someone already endeared towards cabbage, this meal is a godsend on lazy nights. But for those of you who still need a little wiggle room when it comes to accepting this stalwart veg, I urge you to give this a go. Have no fear, this is no stinky cabbage.

Me? I’m clearly on Team Cabbage. My archives are a treasure trove of slaws, salads, soups, stir fries, wraps and god knows what else. Being a cabbage lover is in my blood. From the time I was born to when I became truly embarrassed at the nickname, my mom had called me her little cabbage. In french, it’s apparently really endearing (“ma petite chou chou”), but as a surly teenager, I wasn’t buying it. Growing up we fermented our own sauerkraut. I remember sneaking into the basement, lifting the lid on the big barrel and dipping my hand in, ready to shove all that pickled goodness into my mouth. Yeah, I was a cabbage lover from the get-go. But I don’t think you need cabbage coursing through your veins to appreciate its versatility, really, I think all it takes is just one dish. And maybe this simple braised cabbage is The One.

cabbage with apples and cumin

elsewhere: Fancy a nostalgic treat? Try these brown butter rice krispie squares on for size over at Poppytalk. Salty sweet! Over at ReadyMade, I kill my microwave oven and don’t look back.

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30 comments to “team cabbage: braised cabbage with apples & cumin seeds”

  1. 1
    Phyllis   April 4, 2011 at 4:35 am

    I too love cabbage. This looks oh so yummy. And, I was thinking this morning what should I have as a side with the bratwurst? Hmm? Problem solved.
    Thanks for posting this.

  2. 2
    Ashlae   April 4, 2011 at 5:03 am

    You fermented your own sauerkraut? LUCKY. I’m a cabbage lover, also – my Oma (German for grandma) refused to let me get away with not eating cabbage; she always reminded me, “cabbage fights cancer!” To this day, her little saying has stuck with me. I mean, the first thing I thought when I saw the title for this post was CABBAGE FIGHTS CANCER. Hah!

    Cancer-fighting abilities aside, I love the taste of cabbage. Especially pickled cabbage! I put it in everything from smoothies to bean burgers – and I’m trying to figure out a way to bake with it. I have two small heads of cabbage sitting in my fridge, and one of them is most certainly being used to make this dish. Thank you!

  3. 3
    Heidi @ Food Doodles   April 4, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I actually don’t like sauerkraut, but that’s the only kind of cabbage I don’t like. And this looks so good! I’m going to save the recipe to try later :)

  4. 4
    Bijoux   April 4, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Yeah, the weather really sucks around here! We had wet snow last night and plenty of rain. Snow is gone but we are expecting 2 more days of rainfall.

    Cabbage was plentiful in my house growing up too. It came in the form of cabbage slaw, cabbage rolls and pickled cabbage, the latter of which I took to school with me once and received plenty of “eww that stinks” at the lunchroom table from the other kids.

    I don’t eat cabbage all that often. I think it’s because I find it such a hard veg to chop. Yes, I can be lazy :) so sometimes I but the pre-cut cabbage in bags.

    I’ve experimented with cooking braised cabbage a few times, with onions, carrots and caraway seeds and it was really enjoyed it. I also added a knob of butter to the skillet.

    Love the idea of adding apples to this cabbage dish!

  5. 5
    Eva   April 4, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I’m also all about team cabbage. Growing up in a German family we always were eating it…when I was a child I was not fond of it but now I love it! Can’t wait to try this with the cumin seed…one of my fave spices!

  6. 6
    monika   April 4, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I’m relatively new to eating cabbage. But I’ve tried braising it with apples like you’ve done here, and throwing in chunks of sausage or bacon, and I think it may be love. I really like your addition of cumin seeds too; I must try that!

  7. 7
    Rachel (Olalliberry)   April 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I love cabbage, I need to eat more of it! I’ve tried braised red cabbage with apples before, and cumin seed sounds like a delicious addition!

  8. 8
    Gretchen   April 4, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    My french teacher would call us “mon petite chou chou” if he felt like teasing us a bit, but in a totally endearing way! Plus I love cabbage and Orangette, so this entry really brought a smile to my face.

  9. 9
    Jackie   April 4, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    What a perfect dish for Vancouver’s cold March rain! I’m a cabbage enthusiast but haven’t done a lot of cooking with it, and this is just the motivation to jump in. Thanks for posting. :)

    My friends made an amazing cabbage side dish for salmon the other weekend- instead of apples, they added chopped golden raisins and cashews. All of this would be great with a dollop of sour cream, too. Such a versatile, unsung hero of the vegetable world.

  10. 10
    Renee @ sweetsugarbean   April 4, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I’m on team cabbage too! I grow lovely purple cabbages (can’t wait to get out to the garden!) Half a head of cabbage sits in my fridge, and I think I’ll give this recipe a go. Someone above mentioned bratwurst, and now I know tomorrow’s dinner. Thanks!

  11. 11
    cory   April 5, 2011 at 9:23 am

    this is exactly what i have been looking for! i have been looking for a good new side dish to serve alongside grilled rosemary and garlic marinated pork chops and i think this fits the bill quite nicely.

    i get my new propane tank tomorrow, consider this on tap for the weekend! thank you, great post :)

  12. 12
    redmenace   April 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Raining here too. I suppose that’s typical. We are pretty much in the same climate zone. I think this meal looks wonderful for the weather. Apple and cumin? Say no more. I’m in! xo

  13. 13
    lo   April 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Mmm. Braised cabbage. We make a similar dish with smoked paprika and plenty of caramelized onions. Always the perfect comfort food on a rainy spring night.

  14. 14
    Lynn   April 7, 2011 at 6:52 am

    I’ve been using cabbage a lot more recently. It’s one of the few vegetables my son doesn’t pout about. I’ll definitely be trying your recipe!

  15. 15
    Maddie   April 7, 2011 at 9:48 am

    For me, the addition of apples and cumin totally changes the way I think about braised cabbage—and that’s a very good thing. :) I wish I’d had this recipe around last summer, when I got a new head of cabbage every week in my summer CSA!

  16. 16
    SixBalloons   April 7, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    You know, I’ve seen the apple + cabbage style recipes before and always been kind of skeptical, but your description and pics make me want to try it. Thanks for making it look so appetizing! :) Looks simple to prepare too.

  17. 17
    Rocky Mountain Woman   April 8, 2011 at 7:51 am

    It’s snowing here today…

    A nice warm slaw may be just the thing!

  18. 18
    Mandy   April 9, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Cabbage is the best! Delicious and cheap :-)

    X

    MENNEPEN

  19. 19
    Genie   April 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I’m team cabbage too. I’ve only tried sauerkraut once on a hotdog and that was ok as a pickle but not sure if I’d eat a whole bowl of it. Do people feast on the stuff? I recently experimented with red cabbage and pear. A little balsamic vinegar, butter and red wine too made for a pretty rich cabbage dish.

  20. 20
    Elizabeth   April 11, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Yes! I am totally a card-carrying member of team cabbage. Your simple take is inspirational. Though I’d prefer cherries and zucchini, this is an elegant dish to enjoy while I wait for things to grow.

  21. 21
    kickpleat   April 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Aw, thanks everyone! Glad to see lots of “team cabbage” faces out there!

  22. 22
    viv @ the eclectic life   April 14, 2011 at 6:58 am

    I’ve never had an appetite for cabbage until now. You must have magical powers.

  23. 23
    Tanya   April 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I was thinking about cabbage last week, so I looked around for a few recipe ideas. I had this with dinner on Tuesday and it was so good! Hello cabbage – welcome back into my life :-)

  24. 24
    kickpleat   April 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Haha, viv, thanks :)

    Tanya, so glad you enjoyed it! It’s a keeper!

  25. 25
    kamran siddiqi   April 18, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Oh my! How I love that gorgeous skillet and wooden spoon. That wooden spoon is just all sorts of gorgeousness- this whole post is. Just lovely! :)

  26. 26
    kickpleat   April 20, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks Kamran – it’s a well-used spoon :) Bought from a dollar store when I first moved to Vancouver nearly 15 years ago! Thanks :)

  27. 27
    jess   May 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    go team cabbage! this sounds yum – always useful to have another recipe for the winter/spring influx of cabbage as i end up making endless slaws sometimes ;) thanks!

  28. 28
    kickpleat   May 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Jess, it’s good to get out of the slaw rut! And this is a nice change of pace :)

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