Thursday, June 2, 2011

Crafting Food: Skillet Cabbage

Skillet Cabbage
 The cabbage starts out purple but will run to pink once the lemon juice is added—beautiful and delicious
but be careful you do not get pink spots on your tablecloth. Not that I know anyone who did that...

It's been a while since I've posted a recipe, mostly because we've been relying on old favorites and leftovers for the past month so that I could concentrate on getting ready for the show (which is just two days away now! holy rocks batman!). I'm always looking for new ways to make vegetables interesting though and this little dish saved my lunch several days running.

Perhaps the best nutritional advice I ever got was that the more color there is on your plate, the better (that is, not in reference to artificial dyes and confectionery delights) since a wide variety of colors indicates that you are getting a wide variety of nutrients with dark leafy greens of purple and green being the most nutrient dense choices. Since it's so easy to end up with a plate of brown fried/starchy/baked carbo goodness, I've found this advice has really come in handy when it comes to meal planning and making healthy but tasty(!) choices.

So when I was about to get some of my usual brussels sprouts at the grocery store recently and realized they were all out, I decided to wing it and get a red cabbage instead since it seemed like it would have a similar body and crunch once shredded. I almost always steam or roast vegetables but prepared it the same way I do the brussels sprouts (using less butter in an effort to make it healthier) and was surprised once again with how delicious a traditionally scorned vegetable can be with this treatment! Not too cabbage-y-y-y at all but savory and with a nice little kick thanks to the lemon and pepper. Since one head of cabbage can be served as a side for two dinners for the both of us or make up the whole of 3-4 lunches for me, it makes a pretty good showing for a 99 cent head of cabbage!

Edit: it's a large serving but I accompany it with only a cup of rice/pasta for a quick weeknight meal. You could quarter the cabbage into smaller portions for two people or use half the head to serve as a side for a more elaborate dinner of 4-6 people. This will also work with regular green cabbage which is even cheaper.

Skillet Cabbage
1 head red cabbage
1/2-1 TBLS unsalted butter
1/2 fresh lemon
course ground kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

-Divide your cabbage into halves or thirds, depending on how many meals you'll need it for. Shred the designated portion with a large chopping knife or food processor (I prefer the courser bits the knife will give you) and refrigerate the rest. Cabbage, even after being cut, will keep a bit longer than other vegetables so there's no need to worry if you don't want to eat the other portions several nights in a row.

-About halfway through shredding, place your pat of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. If preparing it in halves, use 1 tablespoon of butter. If preparing it in thirds or quarters, use just a 1/2 tablespoon.

-Place shredded cabbage in the pan and quickly toss to coat with butter. Add salt and pepper to taste and turn heat up to high.

-Continue to toss and cook for 1-2 minutes or for desired tenderness. I don't like to go any longer than a couple of minutes because I like to have a lot of crunch and avoid the wilted stewed effect. Remove from heat and in a bowl mix with 1 TBLS fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon). OPTIONAL: sprinkle on slivered almonds as a topping.

BAM! you're done! That was relatively painless right?
Plus, you can't beat cheap + tasty + nutritional so proceed to plate that goodness up and devour.

I'm having the last of mine for lunch today and will then proceed to busy myself in tying up some loose ends for the festival this Saturday (insert much excitement, nerves, and crazy panic here). If you're in the downtown Providence, Rhode Island area I hope to see you there! If not, I'll see you back here on Monday with photographic evidence of how it all went!


Meeling said...

The photo is fabulous Kat...looks great in the serving dish you chose.

I'm not a huge cabbage lover but this looks simple and tasty...will def give it a try.

thestoryofkat said...

Thank you Meeling! I am not big on cabbage either and have always been a picky eater so it's saying a lot that I liked this so much :)

DK said...

Good luck! It LOOKS very pretty but I'm not much of a cooked cabbage fan. Love it raw!

Rachel Hauser said...

We have tons of cabbage from our local CSA farm. Maybe I'll try this!

Kim said...

mmm I have been having a love affair with red & green cabbage for the last 7 months...raw stuffed in fish tacos with lime sauce, cooked with noodles in my favorite West Penn dish, Haluski...and who could forget Nana's Sweet & Sour red cabbage with granny smith apples. I'll be trying this delicious one out very soon :-)

Teresa said...

Good luck with the show, you should be happy and healthy after that yummy sounding lunch!