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.
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.