It’s time to enjoy the red cabbage in my root cellar that has survived the winter. The last few bright purple heads are starting to slime and turn black with mold around the edges. Not a pretty sight. But digging down with my fingers, I can remove these outer leaves and the remaining center is still crisp and delicious.
We root cellar both red and green cabbage; both can be eaten raw in salads, and both cook up with a wonderful texture and lots of sweet, spicy flavor. I was interested to learn that red cabbage has 10 times more Vitamin A than green, and twice the amount of iron. Tell that to Popeye!
The recipe for Cabbage with Cider and Mustard Cream Sauce comes from my archives. I first made it with green cabbage and loved the sweet, mildly spiced and creamy taste. Made with red cabbage, this dish is bright, beautiful and bold. We loved this kraut served up with ham. It would also be good with roast pork or lamb. A jar of it at room temperature for lunch sure hit my sweet spot.
For best results, partially cook the cabbage before sautéing and preparing the sauce. Although the recipe calls for cooking the cabbage in boiling, salted water, the microwave works well too.
Cabbage with Cider & Mustard Cream Sauce
- 1 small cabbage (about 1-½ pounds)
- Sea salt and fresh pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 leek thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
- ½ cup cider or 2 tablespoons cider syrup
- 1/3 cup cream
- Quarter the cabbage, remove the core and cut into wide ribbons or squares. Boil, uncovered, in a large pot of salted water for 4 minutes. Drain, rinse under cool water, and squeeze out the extra moisture with your hands.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the chopped leek and cider. Cook over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, mustard and cream. Cover and cook over low heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh pepper.
- Serve as a side dish, or for a complete meal, serve over buckwheat grouts (kasha) or egg noodles. Makes 6 servings: