Cabbage and Kale Challenge!
The Cabbage Challenge: Red Cabbage, Apples, and Bacon
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
In the winter months, the appeal of slow-braised dishes never diminishes. In the summer, we seek the opposite: raw, bright flavors that contrast with each other. Now, in the depths of winter, we seek deep, muted flavors of ingredients blended over time. This dish - from Jamie Oliver’s Cook with Jamie - is quintessential winter food. I’ve simplified this a bit, as I found his original portion of vinegar (3/4 cup of balsamic) overwhelming and I prefer it without the tablespoon of ground fennel seeds, though feel free to reintroduce them. Best eaten while there is still snow on the ground.
Jamie Oliver’s Red Cabbage Braised with Apple, Bacon and Vinegar
1/2 lb. Meadow Run Farm Bacon, sliced
1 Onion, sliced
2 Apples, peeled and cut into one-inch cubes
1 Red Cabbage, trimmed of outer leaves and cored, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons vinegar (I use herb vinegar from Red Earth Farm)
1 tablespoon butter
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the bacon and cook until golden. Add the onions and continue to cook, covered, until golden. Add the apples, cabbage, vinegar, and a pinch of salt. Stir well. Cook covered over low heat for approximately one hour, stirring occasionally. Season again with salt and pepper to taste. Add the butter just before serving.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Disclaimer: no food coloring went into that soup!
It is still winter, still January, and I am still receiving cabbages in my CSA share. Along with cabbages come carrots, potatoes, turnips, garlic, onion, a variety of squash and, of course, apples (and the usual eggs, granola and cheese). What to do when the weather turns (too) cold and root veggies and cabbage abound? Make soup!
I love Alice Waters and regularly turn to her cookbook The Art of Simple Food. There is one recipe in particular that has become a standard: A soup of many vegetables, or seasonal variations of minestrone. The winter minestrone involves cabbage, potatoes and turnips. Perfect. Of course, my cabbage was red, and thus dyed my soup purple. Perhaps I am biased, but I think the purple broth looks beautiful with the orange carrots and white great northern beans! Regardless, it was delicious and fed me for many days. As the weather turns cold again this weekend, maybe you want to try adding cabbage to your hearty winter soup.
A Soup of Many Vegetables
adapted from Alice Waters The Art of Simple Food
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced evenly
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
4 cups water
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 small turnips, cubed
Half of small head of cabbage (red or green), shredded
2 cups prepared white beans (I used great northern beans and cooked them in water—3 inches above beans—with a bay leaf and garlic clove, allowing them to simmer after five minutes of a hard boil for about an hour, reserving the cooking water)
Pepper to taste
Olive oil and Parmesan for garnish (optional)
In a soup pot over medium-high heat, sautee the onion and carrot until soft—about 10 minutes. Add garlic, bay leaf, salt and thyme. Cook another 5 minutes. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Add in turnips and potatoes, allowing to simmer/boil gently. After 5 minutes add cabbage (you could cook cabbage ahead of time and add at the end with the beans, which would probably prevent the dying of soup, but I like the purple!). Cook another 10 minutes and add beans and reserved water. All the while stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste. Once everything is cooked (potatoes and turnips are tender) serve. If you wish, you can add 1 tbsp each of olive oil and Parmesan to the individual bowls. Enjoy!
And if you are looking for more tips on how to cook cabbage, why don’t you check out this video from 1941 about how to best cook a cabbage!
Cabbage Challenge: Not Slaw
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
My first go-to use of green cabbage is an oil (not mayo)-based cole slaw, either my grandmother’s recipe with onions and celery seed or one with a dressing like that for my favorite papaya salads. While those are good, it’s been cold enough lately that I wanted to do something hot with the cabbage I’d bought. This is a noodle dish maybe somewhat reminiscent of mooshu in flavor, since I used a good bit of hoisin sauce, and the cabbage and daikon (both local, along with the onion, garlic, and tofu) go very well with a generic East Asian flavor set.
Cabbage and Potato Gratin
In the spirit of the Cabbage and Kale challenge, and because I had half a head of cabbage left from before my recent vacation, I threw this together last night. I’ve tried green veggie gratin type recipes before, and I’m not terribly fond of them with just plain veggies - but I thought that potatoes would add enough body - plus my potatoes are beginning to sprout. The potatoes and cabbage were local, but I don’t think anything else was, although the eggs might have been.
* 1/2 a head of cabbage, finely sliced (preferably purple for a nice contrast)
* 5 small potatoes, thinly sliced (about same volume as the cabbage)
* 1 c shredded Parmesan cheese, shredded
* approx. 1 t butter
* 1 c cream, milk, or half and half
* 1/4 c flour
* 1/2 c shredded Gruyere cheese
* 1 t salt
* 1 t ground cardamom
* 1 t caraway seeds
* 2 eggs
1. Butter the inside of a two quart casserole dish, and sprinkle with Parmesan to coat (approx 1/2 of amount in the recipe)
2. Steam or boil the cabbage until just soft (I steamed it for 5 minutes). Drain, and pat dry with a towel.
3. Combine the ingredients below the line in a separate bowl and whisk thoroughly
4. Place a layer of cabbage in the casserole, top with a layer of potatoes (make sure there are holes between the potatoes) and pour approx 1/3 of the egg mixture over
5. Continue layering of cabbage, potatoes and egg mixture until everything is used up (should be approx 3 times)
6. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese
7. Bake at 375F for 40 - 50 minutes
It was very good. The potatoes were a good idea, but some of them didn’t get cooked as much as I would like - I think next time I’d steam them along with the cabbage. And you def need to steam the cabbage - with the steaming it’s still pleasently crunchy in the finished dish.
That would be great with a little Kale in it!
Monday, January 19, 2009
(Pictured with Kale: bermuda onion and garlic chives, all from the Fair Food Farmstand)
I do like sauteed kale on it’s own, but I thought I’d try just chopping it up and adding it to things like it’s parsley. Huzzah! It worked nicely in a tortilla espanola and in a “moroccan” meatloaf. If you really want to taste the kale, this isn’t the way to go, of course. But if you have a lot, and maybe some of it needs to find a use sooner rather than later, just start including it in your recipes. Would be nice w/spinach in a lasagna, all kinds of soups (I put some in black bean soup recently), a vegetable gratin….
(“Moroccan” meatloaf is something I made up: equal parts ground lamb and beef, 2 grated carrots, finely chopped onion, 2T pomegranate molasses, handful of dried currants, mixture of moroccan spices. To the one pictured I added the garlic chives and, of course, Kale.)
Friday, January 09, 2009
Happy New Year, Farm to Philly readers! I realize I am over a week late with that wish, but I am just getting settled back into my kitchen here in Philly after a few weeks of enjoying family, friends and food in Connecticut, New York and San Francisco/Berkeley. I tell you, eating local in the Bay Area is a dream. The amount of fresh, ripe, local avocados I ate while out there brings tears to my eyes. But there is no effort and nearly everyone has easy access to good local produce, which means that often the awareness and connection to the food system are lacking. I appreciate the consciousness and even education that comes with making an effort to eat locally and to connect with local farms. That’s not saying I am not itching to go back and eat more local avocados and pick lemons off the street….
Back in Philly, my friend picked up my CSA share for me before I returned, so that I might return to a fridge full of fresh, local, organic goodies. I am participating in the Keystone Farm Winter Share (I have the vegetarian half share) and each week (weather permitting) I pick up at Clark Park half a dozen organic eggs, a locally produced cheese, homemade granola and an assortment of organic produce (lots of apples, potatoes, turnips, beets, cabbage, etc…it’s winter). This week (and by that I mean last Saturday) I got half a dozen each of potatoes, turnips, winesap apples, a large acorn squash, three knobs of garlic and a small head of red cabbage.
The cabbage beckoned to participate in our January “cabbage and kale challenge,” and I decided to make a crunchy winter cabbage salad:
1/2 small head of red cabbage, sliced
1/2 cup of julienned carrots
1/2 crisp, tart apple, sliced thinly (I used a local granny smith I bought at the co-op)
1/2 small red onion, either sliced thinly or diced (I diced out of habit, forgetting I wanted to slice it!)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
red wine vinegar
(I prefer my dressings sour, so I’ll leave the proportions up to you!)
After mixing the dressing, pour it over the veggies and toss until evenly coated.