Red cabbage, sautéed or braised with apple, red wine vinegar, juniper berries, caraway seeds and cloves is the most common way I cook it in my kitchen. Sometimes I add walnuts and at other times some raw bacon – all delicious, but same old, same as.
Shredded red cabbage is also good uncooked in a salad, especially with strong flavours – black olives, garlic, red wine vinegar and anchovies – and these ingredients can be used in both a salad and a cooked version of red cabbage.
Red cabbage sliced thinly, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, bay leaves, lemon and pitted black olives and anchovies to taste ( I like both anchovies and black olives and add generous amounts of both).
Red Cabbage as a salad with black olives, garlic, red vinegar and anchovies
Make this salad about 2 hours before serving.
Place the shredded or finely cut red cabbage into a bowl that has a lid.
Mix chopped garlic with chopped anchovies, plenty of extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, a little salt (olives and anchovies will be salty), bay leaves and red wine vinegar.
Add this to the cabbage and mix well. Leave it to marinate so flavours can infuse.
Drain the red cabbage if there are excessive juices. Taste it and add a little more oil and a little lemon juice if it needs it. Add black olives and grated lemon peel and serve.
If you would like a bit of green, slice some spring onions and sprinkle on top.
Sautéed cabbage with black olives, garlic, red vinegar and anchovies
Unlike in certain recipes where it is often suggested to cook red cabbage for about an hour or more, I never cook it for longer than 15-20 minutes,
This recipe benefits from the addition of lemon juice at the end
In a heavy based saucepan heat a few tablespoons of oil, add the chopped garlic with chopped anchovies- the anchovies will dissolve in the heat.
Add the cabbage, salt and pepper and sauté for a few minutes to soften the cabbage.
Add the vinegar, bay leaves and black olives and stir through.
Cover and cook on low heat until it is softened and cooked to your liking. If it is too dry add a little water or red wine while it is cooking.
When it is cooked add the juice of one lemon, mix and serve.
Although these recipes have southern Italian flavours, red cabbage can be difficult to find in southern Italy and is far more common in the north.
Below is one of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings of petunias – these vibrant colours are almost identical of the colours of red cabbage.