I have a complicated relationship with red cabbage. On the one hand, it grosses me out. On the other hand, I love it. One time I ate a falafel that had red cabbage in it and it mixed with the tahini and there was this lavender liquid oozing out of the pita and it grossed me out so much that it was a long time before I could eat falafel again. Kind of like when you get sick after you eat something and then you can’t eat it again, only I didn’t actually get sick, it just makes me sick to think of lavender tahini. Disgusting.
On the other hand, I love German food and I especially love German food in the fall, which means I love braised red cabbage and apples. There’s not really a whole lot of difference taste and texture-wise between red cabbage and green cabbage, but I think for this dish, red cabbage looks a lot more appetizing. The pale flesh of the apples against the white cabbage, just looks bland. With the red cabbage, the apples will take on a little fall color. When you cook with red cabbage it’s really important to use an acid (in this case vinegar) or it will turn blue (which is kind of cool because there aren’t a lot of blue foods, but it would probably turn most people off).
Braised Red Cabbage with Apples (adapted from Mark Bittman’s Best Recipes in the World)
makes a dutch oven full of cabbage
One medium sized red cabbage, diced
2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
6 tbs. butter! (The original recipe called for 8 and even I couldn’t bring myself to do it.)
3 tbs. apple cider vinegar (or white or red wine vinegar)
2 tbs. sugar
2 big spoonfuls apple butter (or a sweet jelly)
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Dump in the cabbage and stir. Let it go for a few minutes until it starts to get soft.
Turn the heat to low and add the apples and apple butter. Give it a stir and put the lid on it.
Cook for 45 minutes-1 hour. Check every once in a while and if it seems like it’s getting dry in there, add just a little bit of water.