With crisp fall weather comes an abundance of beautiful red, purple, and blue cabbage ready for the picking. Braised cabbage pairs brilliantly with fall roasts, chops, sausages, liver, or salmon and brightens up fall meals with its sweet, sour, and savory goodness, along with the added benefits of vitamins A and C, and antioxidants.
Following the Scandinavians lead with a dash of Italian flair brings braised cabbage to center stage. You will be amazed how cabbage, often dismissed as ordinary and uninteresting, suddenly becomes the star of your fall and winter meals in the coming months ahead.
Braised Red Cabbage with Currants: Serves 4
- 1 large head red cabbage
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup Aquavit or vodka
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (if using vodka)
- ¼ cup currants
- 3 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
- flaked sea salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- water as needed
Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and cut the cabbage in half lengthwise. Remove the center core and slice (shave) the cabbage very thinly.
Place a large skillet on the stove over medium heat and when hot add the olive oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Add the onions and saute until the onions are soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Then add the sliced cabbage and toss with the onions and garlic. Continue tossing until the cabbage begins to wilt, about 5 minutes. Then add the Aquavit (or vodka) and currants, and fennel seeds (if using) and saute while tossing until the Aquavit has partially evaporated.
Add the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat to medium low and continue cooking until the cabbage is soft, tossing from time to time, for about 20-25 minutes. If the pan begins to dry out add a little water, but don’t overdo it! You want the cabbage to be moist and glazed, not watery.
Taste for seasoning and serve.