So it may not sound like the hippest, trendiest food, but braised red cabbage is a delicious, versatile veggie side that’s handy to have in your wheelhouse. Having grown up in a family that’s half-Polish, it never even occurred to me to think cabbage was gross or weird. It was just a food we ate sometimes.
That said, I still laugh to myself whenever I make it because I think of a writer friend’s long-ago comment that if Charles Bukowski were a vegetable, it would be cabbage. How we even got on the topic is a past-life story for another day, but if you read his books, amidst the ladies and the drinking, there’s a lot of cheap stew meat and vegetables that pair well with cheap stew meat. Cabbage is great in that context. When I was in grad school and cooking on a budget, I snuck cabbage into a lot of foods to make them more filling.
Cabbage is one of those vegetables that’s easy to dress up or down, and it’s pretty cheap. From a nutrition standpoint, cabbage provides vitamins A and C, a variety of vitamins, and a decent amount of fiber. It’s also very low in calories (hence the cabbage soup diet, I suppose). There are many varieties, but my favorite is red cabbage. This winter, I have not been able to get enough of this braised red cabbage. My favorite way to enjoy it (right now, anyway) is with eggs, but it’s also great with meat or fish or with a vegetarian grain bowl. Here’s my go-to recipe.
Easiest braised red cabbage
- 1 tablespoon butter or oil
- One head red cabbage, shredded
- 2 ounces dry red wine (optional)
- 1 ounce apple cider vinegar
- Salt to taste
- Heat oil or butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add red cabbage. Stir well.
- Cover pot to soften cabbage, about 5 minutes.
- Remove pot and add red wine. Leave uncovered, stirring a few times until wine cooks down by half, about 3-5 minutes.
- Cover pot again and let cook another 5-7 minutes.
- Remove lid and add apple cider vinegar. Cook down. If needed, you can cover the pot and cook until cabbage texture is to your liking.
- Season with salt to taste.
Serve with eggs or your favorite meat and vegetables.
What foods have you been eating a lot of recently?