17 January 2013

Sweet & Tangy Red Cabbage Sauté

I think red cabbage is often overlooked and underappreciated. It doesn't need to be cooked to death like it often is. It's characteristic crunch is a positive quality in my book, and doing a quick sauté maintains the crunch but removes the rawness and concentrates the sweetness while also addressing the seasonal need for warm salads.  And who doesn't like that vibrant purple color on their plate (don't ask me why it's called red cabbage)! The creamy cannellini beans balance the crunch, and the vinegar, honey, and mustard create a nice little sauce at the bottom of the pan. If you're feeling in the mood add an apple cut into matchsticks for another texture and complimentary flavor.

This is a quick weeknight side and if you have leftovers the dish is even better the next day. You could also chop the cabbage in advance to get dinner on the table even faster. I paired the sauté with Heidi's harissa ravioli from Super Natural Every Day to make for a very satisfying, but relatively simple, weeknight meal. 

Sweet & Tangy Red Cabbage Sauté
Serves 4-6 as a side

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot (or 1/2 small red onion), chopped
1 small red cabbage ( 1 - 1 1/4 pounds)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (red wine vinegar or balsamic would also work)
1 tsp. honey (or pure maple syrup)
1 1/2 tsp. grainy mustard
Dash Worcestershire sauce
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

Quarter the cabbage and cut into each quarter at an angle to remove the tough core. Then slice the quarters into thin ribbons.

Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or other heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat . Add the shallot and cabbage and saute, stirring frequently, for 10 - 15 minutes or until the cabbage has reduced in volume and is cooked but still with a bite. During that time you may need to turn the heat down to between medium and medium-high, depending on the weight of your pan.

Turn heat down to medium, add garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook for a minute. Add cider vinegar to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spatula or spoon to scrape up any brown bits at the bottom, then add remaining ingredients over low heat and stir to warm through.

Serve immediately straight from the pan!

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