The gorgeous purple-ish color of red cabbage always makes me feel like I am doing something exotic when I eat it. And the fact that I can nibble on it cold and crunchy, or cook it in olive oil so that it's soft, makes it a versatile food. Plus it lasts for weeks in my fridge. Nutritionally, it's a good choice, with lots of Vitamin C and Vitamin A. After years of enjoying the aesthetically pleasing veggie in its simplest form, I decided it was time to spice it up and went hunting for new recipes.
First, a little history about the colorful edible: North China is likely the original home of cabbage, since about 4,000 BC. Cabbage also exists in Greek mythology, where the God Lycurgus, driven mad by revenge in a spell cast upon him by Dionysus, mistakes his son for a vine and cuts him to bits. When he realizes what he has done, Dionysus cries and from his tears grow a head of cabbage. The English word itself, "cabbage," derives from the French "caboche," meaning head.
My quest for an easy-to-make (and tasty) recipe led me to this one, found on Cooks.com. It uses simple, easy-to-find ingredients, and while it does suggest refrigerating the cooked cabbage overnight, actual prep time is not much. As well, you can substitute some olive oil for butter.
One more tip: To clean the cutting boards, knives, and pans you'll need for this recipe, I recommend Seventh Generation's Dish Liquid. The new formula cleans more dishes than ever, and comes in a new 25 oz. bottle made from 90% post-consumer recycled plastic, which is a big deal!
Red Cabbage With Ginger and Balsamic Vinegar
2 tbsp. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 c. olive oil
3/4 c. chopped red onions
1 head red cabbage (about 3 lb.), shredded
1 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
1 c. dry red wine
3 tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
Melt butter with oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add cabbage and ginger and cook until cabbage is tender, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add red wine and boil until wine evaporates and cabbage appears dry, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add sugar, season with salt and pepper; transfer cabbage to large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, cook cabbage in heavy skillet over medium heat until heated through, stirring occasionally; mix in vinegar, taste and adjust seasoning.