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.
(adapted from the blog ‘Soup Addict’ which in turn used the recipe from Deborah Madison’s ‘Vegetable Literacy’)
100g Greek yoghurt (I like Total 0% fat)
50-100ml buttermilk (amount depends on the yoghurt used)
250g (2 cups) of red cabbage
1 small red onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
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.
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.