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.
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.
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.
braised cabbage with apples & cumin seeds
(adapted from Orangette)
1 T olive oil
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 granny smith apple, cored & sliced thinly
1 t cumin seeds
1 small head cabbage, sliced thinly
salt & pepper
1 T cider vinegar
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over med-high heat and add in the onions. Stir around until they just start to get brown. Toss in the apples and give them a stir and let them get slick with the oil. Add in the cumin seeds and cabbage, along with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Give everything a good mix and add in the cider vinegar. Turn down the heat and stir it once in awhile, until the cabbage gets slightly soft but still retains a bit of tooth. Adjust seasoning if necessary and serve.
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.
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!
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 🙂
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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 🙂
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
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.
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!
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!
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.
It’s snowing here today…
A nice warm slaw may be just the thing!
Cabbage is the best! Delicious and cheap 🙂
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.
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.
Aw, thanks everyone! Glad to see lots of “team cabbage” faces out there!
I’ve never had an appetite for cabbage until now. You must have magical powers.
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 🙂
Haha, viv, thanks 🙂
Tanya, so glad you enjoyed it! It’s a keeper!
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! 🙂
Thanks Kamran – it’s a well-used spoon 🙂 Bought from a dollar store when I first moved to Vancouver nearly 15 years ago! Thanks 🙂
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!
Jess, it’s good to get out of the slaw rut! And this is a nice change of pace 🙂