Red Cabbage with Herbs – Veg of the Week

The colours of the holiday season: red, green and white

The colours of the holiday season: red, green and white

The Christmas tree lights are all packed away again, but I am not quite ready to let go of the cozy feeling that comes with the holiday season. So I have dimmed all the light and dotted candles around the room. For this week’s vegetable post, I had to pick something that reminded me of Christmas on a plate – it had to be a red cabbage dish.
Since I was a child, most Christmases there has been a bowl of ‘Rotkohl’ with apples steaming on the table. And for years I enjoyed turning even the most rushed winter weekday meal into a little feast by popping open a jar of red cabbage. Because I will admit that for a long time I usually served cabbage from a jar. I did try braising it a few times, but was always a little disappointed with the end result. But then I discovered this fabulous recipe. The secret seems to be to in only briefly searing the cabbage. (With the extra added bonus that the cabbage retains its amazing amounts of nutrients).
The other wonderful thing about this dish is that it combines this wintery vegetable beautifully with the green fresh flavours of plenty of herbs. Every spoonful holds a little promise of warmer, sunny times to come.

It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness - Eleanore Roosevelt

It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness – Eleanore Roosevelt

(adapted from the blog ‘Soup Addict’ which in turn used the recipe from Deborah Madison’s ‘Vegetable Literacy’)
Serves 2
100g Greek yoghurt (I like Total 0% fat)
50-100ml buttermilk (amount depends on the yoghurt used)
salt, pepper
250g (2 cups) of red cabbage
1 small red onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh dill
1 tbsp fresh mint
1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley

1. Mix the yoghurt with just enough buttermilk so it begins to become runny.
2. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Grate the red cabbage.
4. Chop the red onion.
5. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
6. Add the onion and fry gently until translucent.
7. Add the cabbage, squeeze in the garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir immediately and keep stirring until wilted. The cabbage should not be cooked for too long just two to four minutes should be enough.
8. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in a little lemon juice. Taste and add a little more lemon, salt or pepper as desired.
9. Reserve some of the dill tops and chop the rest together with the mint and parsley.
10. Toss the cabbage with the herbs.
11. Plate the cabbage and drizzle with the yoghurt sauce.
12. Scatter with the reserved dill tops.

Serve with
Roast Mustard Chicken and some Cauliflower Puree
• Or a piece of chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto baked in the oven or just a simple steak

Tips & Variations
Add some more flavour to the yoghurt sauce

• Add some more flavour to the yoghurt sauce with some finely chopped garlic or
• Tahini paste
• Replace the sauce with crumbled feta cheese

Some of the health benefits
Low in fat – Red cabbage is low in calories, and is a rich source of vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin C – The best-known sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, so it may be a surprise to learn that 1 cup of chopped red cabbage has 56 percent of the recommended daily intake of this important vitamin. As an antioxidant, vitamin C fights inflammation and protects cells from damage that leads to chronic health conditions, such as heart disease. Your body needs vitamin C to make collagen, which is the connective tissue that gives structure, strength and support to muscles, skin, bones and other tissues throughout the body. Collagen is also essential for the process of healing wounds. Vitamin C also strengthens the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells that fight invading bacteria and infections. (healthyeating.sfgate)

Anti-aging effect – Red cabbage is a wonderful source of Vitamin C, which helps in anti-oxidation and is therefore involved in maintaining beautiful skin and delaying aging naturally. The outer leaves are rich in Vitamin E, which aids in producing a glowing complexion.

Good for the Eyes and Skin –  Red cabbage is a rich source of vitamin A, which is involved in maintaining clear eye sight. Vitamin A also acts as a natural moisturizer, keeping your skin smooth and supple.

Boosts Immunity –  Red cabbage is an abundant source of Vitamin E, and thus helps in immunity building, DNA repair, and other metabolic processes. Red Cabbage boosts the immune system’s ability to produce more antibodies.

Cleanses the body –  Red cabbage contains large quantities of sulphur, and other minerals that work as cleansing agents for the digestive system. Raw red cabbage (incorporated into your diet in salads) cleans the bowels, thus preventing indigestion and constipation

Anti-cancer properties – Researchers have recently identified 36 different varieties of anti- cancer chemicals in red cabbage. This beneficial property is due to the high content of anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids that has been linked to cancer protection. Some varieties of anthocyanins have double the antioxidant effect of vitamin C. Red cabbage is also a good source of indoles, compounds that may reduce the risk of breast cancer by altering estrogen metabolism.

Prevents Osteoporosis – Like many other vegetables, red cabbage is a good source of calcium. Calcium is an essential mineral for people of every age, as it aids in the strengthening of bones and teeth. Proper intake of calcium-rich foods at a young age is important to help overcome osteoporosis during old age.

Reduces Alzheimer’s risk – The building up of certain plaques in the brain is found to be the main cause of Alzheimer’s disease. In a study conducted by researchers, the consumption of red cabbage in test individuals noticeably reduced the formation of these plaques. Red cabbage, unlike white or green varieties, has a higher concentration of natural anthocyanins that helps protect against this form of dementia.

  1. Darya said:

    It’s funny, I just made this salad a few days ago and was thinking of blogging about it as it is truly one of the best red cabbage salads I have ever eaten! I am glad you also like this salad, I found it delicious, but also quite satisfying, and it is always a “plus” knowing how good it is for the body! The dressing I made was quite different though, and called for tahini and sesame seeds. Perhaps I will blog about it after all 🙂

    • afracooking said:

      Now that really is a coincidence! Yes, you are quite right the original recipe uses Tahini. I also tried that and although I tought it was quite nice I was not blow away by the tahini flavour (but that might just be me as I only rarely really enjoy Tahini). This is such a great recipe that you really should blog about it 🙂

    • afracooking said:

      Thank you so much! Yes it is wholesome and at the same time so satisying!

  2. Koko said:

    This looks soo lovely! I love cabbage…and it would taste so good with a yogurt-y/buttermilk dressing. Such a perfect vegetable for winter! I’m loving the health benefits too 🙂

    • afracooking said:

      I have to admit I made the dish first – then enjoyed it – then made it again…..and only then thought about looking into the health benefits 🙂

  3. What a lovely dish. I love cabbage, and I love the combination of ingredients that are paired with it. I was so impressed with all of the health benefits, especially the “Anti-aging”!! I think I need to make a double batch… 🙂 Wonderful post.

    • afracooking said:

      Thank you so much! And I can attest to the time defying benefits – I still regularly feel as if it is 2013 😉

  4. Oooohhhhh…this sounds great with the yogurt, buttermilk and fresh herbs. And that’s a gorgeous photo!

    • afracooking said:

      That is really is a compliment coming from you!

      • Thank you! 🙂

  5. MMMMMMMMMM,…the dish looks so tasty & well-flavoured too. X

    • afracooking said:

      Thank you darling x

      • You are welcome, sweety. 😊

  6. Karen said:

    I love red cabbage and this recipe sounds so interesting with all the fresh herbs and the yogurt dressing.

    • afracooking said:

      It really was an amazing discovery!! I have always enjoyed red cabbage, but I think this must be the most delicious red cabbage salad I have ever had.

      • Karen said:

        If it is the best, then I must try it as soon as possible. 🙂

  7. I love the color combination of the cabbage, herbs, and yogurt! Looks delicious!

    • afracooking said:

      Thank you, Mary! Such a lovely compliment!

    • afracooking said:

      It gives such a beautiful contrast to the red cabbage.

  8. I used to hate red cabbage when I was young but, like truffles and bread and butter pudding, I have grown to love it. As my sister lives in Hamburg, it was one of the centrepieces of my Christmas dinner. This recipe with herbs looks lovely.

    • afracooking said:

      So lovely of you to drop by and leave me a line! So maybe it is time for me to try truffles again 😉

  9. Liz said:

    This sounds like a great recipe. The ingredients sound delicious and it’s easy to make too. Thanks for sharing. Have you become a herbivore? do you eat meat anymore?

    • afracooking said:

      I was a vegetarian for a really brief time when I was around 12, but I do not think I will ever give up meat again. I do have to say that I only buy organic. The reason I am posting a veg recipe a week is that my sister and I agreed we wanted to expand our repertoire of veggie dishes. So we thought up the ‘veg of the week’ challenge of coming up with a new veg every week that we both have to prepare that week (and somehow blogging more than one post a week is just not happening at the moment).

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