Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Burgundy Cabbage


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1/2 red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/3 cup wine
  • 2 rounded tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • Salt and pepper


In a heavy skillet over medium high, heat oil with onion and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add cabbage, sautéing it until wilted. This process takes about 5 minutes. Add wine to the pan, turning the cabbage. Sprinkle sugar and turn a little bit more. You need to season cabbage with salt and pepper according to your taste.  Reduce heat a bit. Let cabbage continue to cook 10 minutes or until ready to serve, stirring occasionally. 

After preparation, the red cabbage is known as Red Kraut. To retain the natural red color, it is necessary to add vinegar, wine or acidic fruit such as lemon juice to your recipes.

The red cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata f. rubra) is a cultivar of the green cabbage family.  Its leaves are colored dark red/purple. The pH value of the soil affects the shades of dark red or purple. The red cabbage takes on a greenish to yellowish color when grown in soils that are more alkaline. However, in acidic soils, the leaves grow more reddish with deep purple tones. I have learned that the juice of red cabbage has been used as a home-made pH indicator. The cabbage juice turns red in acid and blue in basic solutions.
Red cabbage needs well fertilized soil and sufficient humidity to grow. It is a seasonal plant which is seeded in spring and harvested in late fall. Red cabbage can be grown as an ornamental plant just like Kale. The main difference between cabbage and Kale is that the central leaves of kale do not form a head. Kale is considered to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms.  Kale, just like red cabbage, is as edible as any other variety of this cultivar, as long as it has not been treated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals.  Uncooked Red cabbage and Kale are sometimes used as popular garnish.

A few pictures of our ornamental cabbages & Kale:

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