Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm long Red Cabbage

Please, forgive the market terminology but sometimes it's annoyingly appropriate.  I made's Tassajara Warm Red Cabbage Salad this evening.

And while my intentions were to make just a few servings enough to tie me over for lunch for the week, I had ubiquitous amounts of cabbage.  Recipe reads: slice into ribbons 1 pound of cabbage and silly Jo, 1 pound does not mean 1 head.  No no no.  After beginning to saute 1/4 of my head of cabbage in my large saute pan, I realize that large isn't an accurate enough description for the size of pan needed. I flip my 1/4 head into my monster wok and still can only fit one more 1/4 head into the pot.  I saute, I sample, I delicious.  But damnit.  Here I am with massive amounts of warm cabbage salad.  Had I the strength to eat this much cabbage for lunch day in and day out this week I would undoubtedly turn a lovely shade of violet. "You're turning violet Violet?!" echoes in my head.  What to do with so much cabbage?!  So much cabbage.  Too much cabbage.  And half of it is still staring me in the face.
I turn to old faithfuls.  There are few ingredients that I consistently keep in my fridge.  My constants have to endure years of screening to become a part of the chosen few.  I live in Chicago with no car and a grocery store 3 blocks away and I still prefer to shop only a meal or two out, buying just what I need.  My little metal grandma cart that bumps noisily down the sidewalk can only hold so much, and often I find I never cook with the things that I bought without framing them around a meal I intend to eat in the near future. I hate the package of french benet mix, Harry & David chicken curry soup mix from last Christmas and minute miso that are in my cabinet taunting me to make something with them but utterly lacking their sister ingredients that would create an entire meal!!

There are a few things that ARE part of the necessary ingredients that live on my shelves.  For me they are eggs, milk and puff pasty sheets.  Whenever I have 1/2 dead vegetables, leftover chicken from two-days-ago's roast, fresh herbs from the grocery store that are about to go, that last 1/3 cup brick of cheese that doesn't seem to go with anything or exorbitant amounts of cabbage, I toss them into a quiche.

80% of the time, it works every time.  This was one of the best 80%'s yet.

Violet Beauregarde Cabbage Salad adapted from
1/2 c pine nuts
1 t brown sugar
kosher salt
2 T olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
3 medium cloves fresh garlic
1/2 large head of cabbage, cut in 1/2 again and chopped into 1/4 inch ribbons
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 T balsamic vinegar
4 oz feta cheese

In a LARGE wok, roast pine nuts and just before roasted, toss in sugar and a pinch of salt.  Swirl until covered and browned and remove from pan.  Set aside.  Heat oil in wok and saute red onion for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute another minute.  Add cabbage and 2 pinches of salt.  Saute until the cabbage just barely starts to soften, stirring constantly.  Add raisins and balsamic and cook for another minute.  Remove from heat and gently stir in crumbled feta.  Top with nuts, if eating it as a salad.

for the Quiche:
VB Cabbage Salad
cooking spray
1 defrosted puff pastry sheet
5-6 eggs
1 1/2 cups of milk
vegetable/meat/herb/cheese combination of your choice

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray pie pan with cooking spray and spread out puff pastry.  If you have large corners folding over the sides of your pan, cut those off and patch up your inside rim so that it's mostly covered with pastry.  Spoon 3-4 cups of cabbage salad onto your crust.  Loosely whisk together eggs and milk and a touch of salt and pepper, pour over cabbage mixture.  Depending on the size of your pie pan, you may want to add another cup of cabbage so that you have enough sticking out the top of the egg mixture.  Bake for 40 minutes.  While eggs still haven't quite set, sprinkle roasted pine nuts on top and bake for another 5-7 minutes until eggs are set.  Allow to cool.


  1. Love it! Now if only I could get a taste of your cooking...