Red cabbage, purple cabbage, red kraut, or blue kraut ... call it what you will – this is how to cook with red cabbage in six delicious ways so you can enjoy the surprisingly versatile brassica in the kitchen this winter.
A stalwart of the vegetable drawer, red cabbage is a survivor and coupled with its vibrant colour and affordability, it's about time it shed its frumpy image and let it show you what it's got.
There are plenty of possibilities for experimenting with red cabbage in the kitchen, either raw or cooked, adding colour and crunch to winter recipes, it's also perfect paired with cheese, pork, duck, game and even fish.
Nutrition in Red Cabbage
Red cabbage also packs a nutritional punch. The vibrant colour gives away the game, indicating a greater presence of vitamin A and iron. Plus it's full of vitamin C – especially when eaten raw – as well as antioxidants. What's not to like?
How To Cut Red Cabbage
If you're never tackled slicing up a cabbage before here's how to break it down:
Put some colour back into your kitchen ... it's time to put red cabbage on the menu.
HOW TO COOK WITH RED CABBAGE
First up, when you cook with red cabbage you'll need to lock in that wonderful colour to avoid it becoming an off-putting blue or brown post-cooking – achieve that by adding an acidic element like lemon juice or vinegar, which compliments the slightly sweet taste of cooked red cabbage.
1. Braised Red Cabbage
One of the simplest recipes to try, Jamie Oliver gets stuck into pumping wonderful winter flavours into this easy recipe for braised red cabbage, winning us over with this sumptuous side dish.
2. Raw or Cooked Red Cabbage in Salads
Whether raw or cooked, red cabbage is one of the best ingredients for winter salads. When raw it adds crunchy interest, while cooked, it adds extra sweetness.
Find the recipe here for a crunchy red cabbage with apple and walnuts.
3. Red Cabbage as a Taco/Sandwich Filling
Not only is red cabbage perfect for salads, but also delicious when shredded and stuffed into sandwiches, wraps, whether meat or vegetarian.
Here's a mouthwatering menu for chicken and cabbage tacos over at Food and Wine.
4. Red Cabbage to Accompany Meat
Red cabbage is a natural ally to all things pork, whether you're talking cold cuts or a crispy pork belly, or bacon. Try this hearty recipe for beer marinated pork with red tenderloin from Bon Appetit.
5. Red Cabbage with Cheese
Try pairing cabbage with nuggets of quartirolo cheese (an Italian cheese from Lombardy) or you can try Jacques Pepin's recipe for red cabbage, pistachio and cranberry salad with blue cheese.
6. Red Cabbage with Fish
Excellent with meat, good with the cheese, but among the most unexpectedly successful pairings with red cabbage is fish. Take the unusual salad above from David Bez's salad book, where red cabbage is mixed with squid, carrots, chives, olives and sesame.
Red cabbage also works surprisingly well with fish from oily salmon to white fish like halibut. Try Martha Stewart's recipe for crisp salmon with braised red cabbage and mustard sauce for or a tasty mid-week dinner fix.
7. Red Cabbage Strudel
This vegetarian strudel is chockfull of flavour thanks to the pairing of sautéed red cabbage with wine, onions, pear, pine nuts, butter and herbs.
It's a delectable main course that will no doubt help diners appreciate the virtues of red cabbage.
8. Chicken Po' Boy
This tasty New Orleans sandwich of fried chicken served with a red and green cabbage slaw allows you to enjoy the natural crunch of this hearty vegetable. It is best enjoyed washed down with a beer on a hot day.