Monday, November 28, 2016

Kale Kale the gang's all here

Since it's the season where doorways, hallways and living rooms are decorated with greens, it's time to pull out the kale to keep the kitchen green. Kale is, after all, an ancient cold weather vegetable, a great source of sunshine on dark days. Cheap too. And it comes in several colors without or with curls.  So cozy up to some great kale recipes:

Steamed Clams with Fregola and Kale
If you can't find fregola, the tiny toasted Sardinian pasta balls, use their cousin Israeli couscous.
This should feed 4-6.

1 lb fregola
Juice of 3 lemons
1½ tbsp cold butter, cut into ¾” cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 pinch chilli flakes
1 c white wine
2¼lbs (1 kg) clams, scrubbed clean (discard any with open or damaged shells)
¾ lb kale, leaves pulled of the stems and finely chopped
1 handful parsley leaves, finely chopped

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and cook the fregola, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick together, until al dente – about 12-15 minutes. Drain when cooked.
While the fregola cooks, put the lemon juice into a small saucepan and warm it up gently over a medium-low heat. Once warm, but not boiling, turn the heat to low and whisk in the butter, a couple of cubes at a time, stirring continuously until all of it has been incorporated. The mixture should now be the consistency of cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm over a very low heat (or over a bain-marie).
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan on a medium flame, then fry the oil, garlic and chili flakes until the garlic just starts to color and smell fragrant. Pour in the wine, turn up the heat to high and leave to bubble for a minute or two, until the alcohol cooks off and the sauce reduces by half. Add the clams to the pot, sit the kale on top, cover the pan and cook for two minutes. Stir, then put back the lid and cook for another one to two minutes, until the clams have opened and the kale has wilted.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams and kale to warmed, shallow bowls, then return the pan with the cooking liquor to the heat and tip in the fregola. Stir it in briefly, just until the fregola has warmed through, then spoon over the clams with the cooking liquid. Dress with the warm, buttery lemon sauce, sprinkle with parsley and serve (discard any clams that do not open).

Warm Kale Salad with Coconut
Serves 4
cherry tomatoes 400g
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil,
a drizzle
2 limes
1 bunch (about ¾ lb) green or purple kale 1 head (about 200g), stalks removed, leaves roughly torn into bite-size pieces
¼ c unsweetened shaved or desiccated coconut
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
 For the dressing
1” fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp white miso paste
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
1 red chlli, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400º. Halve the tomatoes and place them on a baking tray with some salt and pepper, a good drizzle of olive oil, the zest of both limes and the juice of 1. Roast for 10 minutes. Pile on them the kale and coconut. Pour over the soy sauce and toss well until everything is coated. Roast in the oven with the tomatoes for 10 minutes, until crisp.
Mix all the dressing ingredients in a bowl with the juice of the second lime. Taste and add a little more seasoning or lime juice if needed, letting your taste buds guide you – remember the dressing will be less punchy once it hits the salad.
Pull the kale and tomatoes out of the oven and tumble them into a big bowl. Toss in the miso dressing, adding a little at a time and tasting as you go, and serve still warm.

Kale Gratin 
serves 4-6
Enough extra-virgin olive or butter to generously cover the bottom of a large pan
3 medium onions, halved and sliced thin
3 bunches of kale, you can mix the different kinds
4 cloves of garlic, smashed, peeled, and minced
Sea salt
1 pint heavy cream
4 ounces grated cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Gruyère
Plenty of freshly ground black pepper

Place a large heavy-bottom pot over low-medium heat, add the onions, and let them sauté, stirring occasionally, until they are very soft.
Meanwhile, prep the greens. Remove the stems that run down the center by holding the leaf in one left hand and slicing down each side of the stem with a knife. By the time you're done, you'll have two piles: one of stems and one of leaves. Bunch the stems in a pile and slice them finely, crosswise. Set aside. Now chop the kale leaves and set them aside, too. The point of separating them is to give the stems a head start cooking, as they take a little longer.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Now the onions should be soft. Add the chopped garlic and stir for a minute or so, until it has released its fragrance. Add the chopped stems and a pinch of salt, stir to mix them with the onions and garlic, and cover the pot. Let them cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Now add the greens and another pinch of salt, using tongs to carefully mix in with the sautéed veggies in the pan. Add about a half cup of water (or stock) to the pan, and turn heat to high until the water begins to boil. When it does, turn heat down a little bit, and let the greens simmer, covered, stirring occasionally until they're nearly tender but still a little al dente. At that point, remove the lid and let them cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid in the pan has evaporated.
Turn off the heat, taste, and add a little salt if necessary. Arrange the cooked kale in a casserole dish large enough to comfortably fit them all. Pour the cream over. Sprinkle the cheese all over the top. Give it a vigorous lashing of black pepper. Bake until the top is well-browned (30-45  minutes). Serve hot. 
*This dish can be made a day or two in advance and reheated in a 350 F oven just before serving. Better yet, cook kale until they're tender and then store them in the fridge until the big day, when you bake them off with cream, cheese, etc.  Vegan variation: Replace the cream with coconut milk and replace the cheese with bread crumbs (or slivered almonds) .

Kale, Sausage and Black-eyed Pea Soup
This is a very hearty meal in a bowl for 6

¼ c olive oil
2 yellow onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp smoked Spanish paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried sage
¼ tsp crushed chili peppers
1 lb Kielbasa or mildly hot Italian sausage, sliced into ¼” disks*
15 oz (1 can) chopped tomatoes and juice
1 bunch Lacinto/Tuscan Kale, stems removed, greens cut into bite-sized pieces
4 c chicken broth*
3 c water
1 cup brown lentils
1 lb Yukon gold potatoes, cut into cubes
1 14 oz can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp sherry vinegar (don’t worry if you don’t have any)

In a medium stockpot, heat the oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté 3 minutes. Add spices. Stir and sauté 30 seconds. Add sausage, stirring to blend. Sauté 3-5 minutes until onions are soft and sausage starts to brown.

Add tomatoes and stir to blend. Cook 30-60 seconds. Add kale, lentils, broth and water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 30 minutes. Add potatoes, black-eyed peas and salt.  Cook another 15 minutes.
Add optional vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings and spices.

Serve with a green salad and crusty bread with butter or soft cheese.
If you are vegetarian, substitute 1 lb firm tofu, cut into cubes and fried in olive oil with a pinch of fennel or anise seed until brown and crisp. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Yellow Split Peas with Cinnamon and Kale
This is one of the most popular dishes in Veggiyana, the Dharma of Cooking. It's seriously fragrant, outrageously nutritious, eye popping colorful and delicious. Plus it goes with everything.
Serves 6

2 cups yellow split peas, cleaned
1 bunch Tuscan kale, chopped (thick stem removed)
1 lg. cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
5 cloves
1 tsp. cumin seed
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground cardamom
½ inch fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 medium red onion, diced
2 tbsp. olive oil or ghee if you prefer
5 cups water
½ bunch fresh cilantro for garnish

Bring water to boil in a large saucepan or medium casserole.
Add split peas, turmeric, cinnamon stick and half the salt (1 tsp.). Cook covered for one hour, checking that there is always some water in the pot.)

While the peas cook, heat the oil or ghee in a medium-sized frying or sauté pan. Over medium heat, fry the bay leaves, cumin seeds and cloves for one minute. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and cook until the onions lightly brown, stirring to blend. Stir in the kale and 1 tsp salt. Continue cooking until the kale is glistening and soft.  Remove the bay leaves from the pot. 
Add the contents of the fry pan to the split peas. Add the ground cardamom, cumin and black pepper, stirring to blend. Taste for seasonings and adjust to your preference.

Continue cooking until the peas are soft, adding water if necessary.  Some people prefer this soupy and others on the dry side.

KALE STUFFING for turkey breast, pork, kabocha squash or turnovers

1 lb kale, washed & chopped 
2 tbsp olive oil 
¼ lb spinach or chard, washed & chopped
1/8 tsp ground cloves 
1 lg onion, chopped 
3 tbsp coconut cream 
2 tbsp butter
3/4cup cottage or ricotta cheese 
¼ lb brown button mushrooms, chopped 
Salt and fresh ground black pepper 
1/2 tsp ground chili powder 
¼ lb sausage or smoked ham, diced*
Melt butter in a large skillet and brown mushrooms with cloves 3 minutes. Add sausage or ham and lightly brown 2-3 minutes. Pour into a work bowl. Heat oil in the skillet and cook onions with chili over medium low heat until soft. Add kale and spinach, increase heat and evaporate moisture on the greens. Reduce heat and simmer until kale is tender, 3-5 minutes. Blend in coconut cream. Add to the mushrooms. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper. Rub the surface of what you are stuffing with softened butter and pile this in to roast or bake.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Giving thanks for the farmers' harvest

The authentic American Thanksgiving was celebrated, as the Canadian still is, in mid October, which is the end of the New England harvest season. So a genuine Thanksgiving should celebrate the bounty of the New World. Most of it comes from the surprisingly vast array of new foods the original arrivals found on our shores, foods we take for granted today.  But the list of New World foods whose discovery began with Columbus is important and impressive enough to be endlessly repeated. Here's what I remember of it:

Beans (black, kidney, cranberry, pinto, lima--essentially everything but the fava, black-eyed pea which came from Africa and chickpea native to southern Turkey)
Chili peppers (all of them)
Chocolate (cacao beans were the sacred food of the Aztecs)
Cod fish, and by extension, salt cod
Corn (all of it)
Jerusalem artichokes (this is what deChamplain mistakenly called the root of the sunflower)
Lobster (the large two clawed kind from Maine)
Maple syrup
Molasses and by extension rum
Potatoes (all of them)
Pumpkins and ALL winter squash
Soft shell crabs and clams as in New England clam chowder
Tomatoes (all of them)
Turkey (it was a northern wild bird)
Wild rice (it's actually not a rice grain)
Vanilla (from rare Mexican orchids)

Just that much makes for a mighty powerful dinner party ingredient list showcasing what we have to be thankful for. and be thankful not everything homegrown is a racist, misogynist Nazi or prim southern white woman so pluperfect she can egomanically impose her personal agenda on everybody else.

The first American thankful also celebrated the abundance of somewhat familiar foods: oysters, duck and venison. So feel free to serve those with or instead of turkey. There is a lot of fabulous oyster farming going on in Maine waters right now. and hunting season is everywhere so deer are being harvested.

A few ideas for incorporating the all-American bounty into your celebration meal:
*Corn pudding (the arriving English converted everything into a pudding) recipe posted under Corn in late summer
*Clam Chowder: with potatoes, colorful peppers and corn--how all-American is that!
*Brandade or salt cod fritters (Brandade recipe posted last year)
**Wild Rice with cranberries and pecans
**Black bean chili (recipe in Veggiyana, the Dharma of Cooking)
**Cornmeal pancakes with maple syrup 
*Lobster pie (whatever the early English didn't put into pudding they wrapped in dough as pie)
*Roasted red, white and blue baby potatoes
"Squash stuffed with tomatoes, chili pepper and lima beans
*Chocolate Fudge Cake (flourless to be authentic here)
*Indian Pudding (molasses and cornmeal)
**together make a perfectly all-American celebratory vegetarian meal

and oh yes, one last thought: you can barbecue that turkey, slathered in your favorite BBQ sauce.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

More on those chic peas, everybody's comfort food

I had planned to feature kale this week because all its forms are so prevalent in farmers' markets right now, but since Wednesday morning, I've had the feeling nobody wants to be told to "eat their spinach." Kale has unfortunately become one of the foods the affluent and arrogant lord over the McDonald's crowd to prove their moral superiority and eliteness. So back to the humble chickpea, that little black dress of the kitchen. It fits everybody's needs: it's cheap, it's nutritious, it's tasty, it's worldly, it's filling, it's vegan and it goes with just about everything that isn't dessert. Maybe a few more chickpea recipes are what we all need to feel right again.

Braised Butternut Squash with Chickpeas
serves 4

1/4 c olive oil
2-3 shallots, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
4 whole cardamom pods, crushed to release the seeds, pods discarded
Salt and black pepper
2½ tbsp harissa paste
½ tsp rose water
2 c + 2 tbsp vegetable stock
1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1 1/2" pieces
1 2/3 c canned cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
7 dried apricots, thinly sliced
1 lemon skin, roughly chopped
2 tsp cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2/3 c Greek yogurt
Heat the oven to 425º. In a large lidded sauté pan heat two tbsp. oil on a medium-high. Add the shallots and fry 7-8 minutes, stirring every so often, until they’re soft and caramelized. Stir in the garlic, spices, half a tsp salt and plenty of pepper, and fry for two minutes more. Add the harissa, rose water, stock and 1 c water, bring to a boil. Add the squash chunks in a single flat layer. Lower heat to medium, cover the pan and simmer 10 minutes, until it is almost cooked through.
Take the pan off the heat and with a slotted spoon, transfer the squash to a medium bowl. Add two tbsp. oil, ¼ tsp salt and some pepper to the bowl. Mix to coat the squash, then spread the squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast at 450º 20 minutes, until golden-brown and thoroughly cooked. Cool.
While the squash is roasting, tip chickpeas, apricots and lemon into the stock left in the sauté pan. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat and cook for about 12 minutes, until the sauce reduces a little and becomes thick and rich. While cooking, crush a few chickpeas with the back of a spoon, to thicken the mix more.

To serve, line the bottom of a shallow serving dish with ¾ of the squash. Spoon the chickpea sauce over it. Top with the rest of the squash, sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and serve at once with yogurt. For a total vegetarian meal serve with rice.

Greek Cinnamon Spiced Chickpeas with Brown Rice and Feta
This soup is one of my most favorite comfort foods ever. Everybody loves the flavor combo.
from Rhodes for 6

½ c top quality olive oil

1 lg onion, minced

½ c dry white wine
2 tsp Aleppo pepper*
6 c hearty vegetable or chicken broth and or water
1 15/6 oz. can chickpeas, drained (you need 2 cups)
1 c chopped boxed or canned tomatoes
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
1 c short grain brown rice
Salt to your taste
½ c crumbled feta cheese
½ bunch flat leaf parsley minced for garnish
Optional: dried mint leaves for extra flavor and garnish

*Ground Aleppo pepper is a moderately hot Syrian chili. Substitutes would be ground chipotle pepper or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes.
NB: do not use Basmati or any other long grain rice. Short grain rice is for soaking up flavors and you need that here.

In a medium heavy pot, heat olive oil, add onion and sauté over medium heat until soft and translucent, 8-10 minutes. Stir in wine and Aleppo or other hot pepper alternative. Raise heat and cook briskly 45-60 seconds until most liquid is gone.
Add 2 cups broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and oregano. Bring to simmering, cover and cook on low heat 10 minutes. Stir in the rice and 2 cups broth. Cook until rice is tender, about 45 minutes.
Season with salt. Remove cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Stir in feta, cover, remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Serve in bowls garnished with minced parsley. Optionally you can double garnish with pinches of fresh mint.

Uzbek Chickpea Salad with Sourcream
serves 4

3 turnips
1 white onion
2 carrots
10 oz chickpeas
1/4cup sour cream
fresh chopped dill to taste

Clean and boil the turnips and carrots. Drain to cool. Cube the turnips and carrots into pieces about the size of the chickpeas. Dice the onion. Combine all the vegetables in a large bowl. Add sour cream, salt, fresh dill and mix well.

Crunchy Chickpea Snack
for at least 4
2 large cans chickpeas
1 cup corn oil
1 tbsp lemon zest, in strips
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 tsp coarse salt to taste
4 cloves of garlic, sliced

Drain chickpeas and set on paper towels over a colander to dry thoroughly (can be done 1 day in advance). They must be absolutely dry.
Heat oil in large cast iron pan until it bubbles around 1 chickpea. Add lemon zest, thyme sprig, and chickpeas in batches to not crowd the pan. Fry 5 minutes or until chickpeas are crunchy and their color has darkened. Remove from oil, drain well. Add garlic to the pan and fry till golden. Remove and drain. Toss chickpeas with the garlic, smoked paprika & salt. Serve warm.

Moroccan Cassoulet (Chickpeas with lamb three ways)
This is a dazzling party dish that takes some fussing and time, but it's actually easy every step of the way.
serves 8
1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp turmeric
2 lamb neck fillets (around 1½ lbs), cut into ¾” slices
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
½ bunch coriander, leaves and stalks separated, both finely chopped
1 2/3c canned plum tomatoes, drained
1 cinnamon stick
5 c canned chickpeas (3 15oz cans), drained and rinsed

For the meatballs
1 garlic clove
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 ¼ lb ground lamb (go over not under on the amount)
For the breadcrumbs
1 c fresh breadcrumbs
2 tbsp harissa
1 tbsp olive oil
To finish
2 tbsp olive oil
6-8 merguez or other lamb sausages

A squeeze of lemon, to taste
Harissa, to serve
1 Preheat the oven to 350º. In a pestle and mortar or spice grinder, grind the cumin, coriander and peppercorns, then add to a mixing bowl along with the ginger, turmeric and a few generous pinches of salt. Add the lamb neck and rub the spices in well, then set aside.
2 In a large casserole, warm up the oil over a medium-low heat and add the onions, garlic, chopped coriander stalks and pinch of salt. Leave to soften, stirring occasionally, for around 8 minutes.
3 Turn the heat up to medium-high and stir in the lamb neck and accompanying spices. Add the plum tomatoes and cinnamon stick, then pour in enough water to not quite cover the meat. Put a lid on top, then put in the oven for 60 minutes, stirring in the chickpeas after 35 minutes.
4 Meanwhile, prepare the meatballs. In a pestle and mortar, bash the garlic clove and a generous pinch of salt into a paste. Add the cumin and fennel seeds and crush them lightly. Scoop into a bowl and add the paprika, lamb mince and the chopped coriander leaves. Season generously, mix well with your hands, then shape into about 16 golfball-size spheres. Put in the fridge to firm up.
5 Meanwhile, mix the breadcrumbs with the harissa and oil and put to one side.

6 Put a frying pan over a high heat and add 1 tbsp of oil. Brown the meatballs briefly, just to get a bit of colour on the outside, then do the same for the sausages.
7 Remove the pan from the oven and check that the lamb neck is soft (return to the oven if not). Taste the chickpeas and adjust the seasoning if necessary. At this stage, you can skim away a little lamb fat if you want. Squeeze in a little lemon and push the meatballs and the sausages into the liquid, adding a little more water if it appears dry. Sprinkle over a thick layer of breadcrumbs, then drizzle over the final tbsp of oil before placing in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are crisp.
8 Remove the dish from the oven and leave for 10 minutes, so that all the juices can be soaked up by the chickpeas. Serve with a green salad and a little extra harissa, if you like.

Nepali Chickpea Curry
 serves 4-6

5 cups cooked or canned Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans, drained but keep the cooking liquid*
2 cups chopped Tomatoes
Sunflower, Canola, Mustard or Corn Oil
1 large or 2 medium Onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1” fresh Ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
Salt to taste
½ tsp Arbol chili powder
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh Cilantro leaves, chopped

*To be very authentic, soak dried chickpeas in water overnight, then boil in a pressure cooker, with sufficient water for two whistles. Or boil until soft but retaining the shape. Or to do this quickly, use canned garbanzo beans, drained but have vegetable broth handy.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium high. When it’s very hot, fry the onions and garlic until the onion pieces become translucent. Add grated ginger and cook a few minutes. Add the turmeric, garam masala, cumin, coriander, and salt to your taste. Stir and cook about 2 minutes. Add chickpeas and tomatoes. Stir to blend.
Add some of the cooking juices from the chickpeas or vegetable broth so nothing burns. Cook about 3
minutes, until tomatoes are incorporated. Add 1 cup liquid again. Let everything simmer 10 minutes until juices are reduced and the dish is not soupy. Add lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Season to taste and adjust if required.

Chickpeas with Cod and harissa
serves 2

1 lb skinless and boneless cod loin, cut into 1” pieces
2½ tbsp olive oil
½ tsp ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, peeled, 1 crushed, the other thinly sliced
½ medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
⅛ tsp ground cardamom
1 tbsp rose harissa (or regular harissa)
2 tsp tomato paste
1 small preserved lemon, finely chopped or zest of 1/2 lemon
1 15oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 c (scant) vegetable stock
handful of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Mix the cod with 1½ tsp olive oil, ¼ tsp cumin, the crushed garlic and a pinch of salt. Marinate 30 min.
Heat the remaining 2 tbsp. oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high flame. Once hot, fry the onion 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until soft and golden brown. Reduce heat to medium, add the sliced garlic and stir for a minute, then add remaining cumin, the cardamom, harissa, tomato paste, lemon, chickpeas and ¼ tsp. salt. Stir for a minute, pour in the stock and cook 3-4 minutes, crushing some of the chickpeas with the back of the spoon, until the sauce is thick. Add the fish to the pot and poach for 3-4 minutes, gently turning it over halfway, until cooked through and starting to flake apart. Stir in the cilantro. Spoon into a shallow bowl and serve hot.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Cabbage Patch

It's time for something no nonsense and comforting, something humble, healthy and indisputably delicious. A good time for cabbage. White, green, purple, round, cylindrical, take your pick. They are real people food for the 99%. Best of all, cabbage is thought to be an impeccable source of protection from cancer, especially breast and colon. Its juice has anti-inflammatory power to calm ulcers. It is rich in Vitamins K, B6 and C, as well as omega fatty acids. Red cabbage has the more powerful anti-oxidants but it's coarser. 

Cabbage is famously and easily fermented into sauerkraut and kimchi, which ups its nutrients and health benefits significantly.

Two pounds of raw cabbage chops into 9-10 cups and cooks into 5-6 cups. Here are a few tasty, heartwarming ways to use one right now. Sorry about the shortage of photos.

Russian Cabbage Soup
 This is a late summer/autumn version
serves 4-6
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 med yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 sm leek, white part only, thinly sliced and washed  
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced into disks
5 c beef or bone broth
3/4-1 lb round white/green cabbage as pictured above, shredded
1/2 c sauerkraut 
1 tomato, peeled and diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to your taste
1/3 c sour cream
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill

In a med/lg soup pot, melt the butter. Add the onion, leek and carrot. Cook over medium heat until they just begin to soften. Do not burn or brown.  Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the cabbage, sauerkraut and tomato. Lower heat, cover and simmer just under an hour until cabbage is soft. Season with salt and pepper.

This actually tastes better served the next day but whenever you serve it, you add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of fresh dill to each portion.

Braised Red Cabbage

This is a northern Italian recipe I love when chill hits the air. It's in How To Fix a Leek....the book. Couldn't be easier.
Serves 6

2 tbsp olive oil & 1 tbsp butter             
1 lg onion, chopped ½ cup apple juice or cider
1½ lbs red cabbage, quartered             
1 tsp caraway seed
½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
3 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
3 tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar       

Cut cabbage lengthwise into thin strips.  Heat oil and butter over medium heat in a large heavy gauge casserole or skillet. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion begins to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Add caraway, and 30 seconds later cabbage. Toss until cabbage wilts. Add broth and juice, cover and simmer on low heat 20 minutes. Add vinegar, blend, cover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes, or until cabbage is thoroughly tender. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot.

Smothered Cabbage with Sausages
This is another Italian way with cabbage, white this time.
Serves 4
2 lb white, green or savoy cabbage (round)
1 lg white onion
75g pancetta or bacon
2 tbsp olive oil
60g butter
Salt and black pepper
1–3 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 large/8 small sausages you like (Spicy Italian goes really well here.)

Discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage, cut into quarters, cut away the tough core and then shred each quarter.  Peel and thinly slice the onion and dice the pancetta.
Put the olive oil, onion and pancetta in a large, deep frying pan or casserole (with a well-fitting lid) over a medium-low heat and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft and translucent and the pancetta has rendered its fat. Add the cabbage and turn it a few times until it is starting to wilt, then add the butter and stir again until it has melted.  Add salt, pepper and the vinegar (if you are only adding 1 or 2 tablespoons, add water to make the liquid up to 3 tablespoons), stir again then cover the pan tightly and reduce the heat to very low. Cook for an hour or more, lifting the lid and stirring every now and then, adding a little more water if the pan looks dry, until the cabbage is very tender. Check the seasoning. and serve with grilled or oven-baked sausages on top, pouring any juices over the cabbage.

Cabbage Crisp
After spending too many summers making peach, plum and rhubarb crisps, I made up this cabbage and Kashi  version for a vegetarian potluck lunch. Soft creamy cabbage sweetened by apples and raisins lurking under the hard crunch of Kashi and almonds made it a sensation. I put the recipe in Veggiyana, the Dharma of Cooking.  It works as the meal centerpiece, accompanied perhaps by tomato soup and a cheese platter, or served with a baked ham or roasted pork loin and a spinach salad.
Serves 6-8

1 small red cabbage, cored and shredded
½ round green or white cabbage, cored and shredded (the goal is equal amounts of the two cabbage colors)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 large Granny Smith or other very tart apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
1 small celeriac bulb, peeled and grated (1 cup will do)
1 tsp. caraway seed
½ tsp. celery seed
½ cup raisins plumped for 10 minutes in water (optional: add ¼ tsp orange flower                water, orange juice or rose water to the water for added flavor) and drained
juice of one large lemon
¼ tsp balsamic or sherry vinegar
½ tsp salt
¾ cup sour cream
4 tbsp butter
½ cup freshly chopped dill sprigs

for the “crisp”:
1 1/2 cups Kashi 7 grain cereal
8 tbsp (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tsp freshly minced ginger root
1/3 cup almond meal, or roasted chickpea flour
1 tbsp light brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350º and get out a glass pie dish. 

Melt 4 tbsp butter in a large sauté pan. Add caraway and celery seeds and stir into the butter. Sauté onion over medium low heat until it is soft and translucent, but not brown. Add cabbages, celeriac and apple and carefully blend all ingredients. Sauté five minutes over medium low heat, until cabbage is soft.  Turn up the heat and try to make any moisture in the pan evaporate. Remove from heat. Drain off excess liquid. Add salt, lemon juice, vinegar and the drained raisins. Let the cabbage cool five minutes. Add dill and sour cream.  Blend well and put into the pie plate, smoothing the top evenly.  Leave at least 1/3-1/2” at the top of the pan for the “crisp.”

To prepare the crisp, cut butter into tablespoon size chunks and put it in a food processor with all other ingredients except for the slivered almonds. Using the pulse button three or four times, get the butter to stick in clumps of Kashi.

Dump the mix into a bowl, add the almonds and use your hands to make clumps. You will still have some loose and dry ingredients. Spread the clumps evenly over the top of the cabbage and fill in with the loose powder. Be careful to extend to the edges to seal the cabbage juices in underneath. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the top is browned and the cabbage is boiling up the sides of the dish. Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Tibetan Cabbage and Pork Stir Fry (Logo Petse tang Sha
Serves 4

1 carrot, peeled, halved then each half halved again and cut into small pieces
1/2 sm round cabbage, not purple, shredded
1 lb boneless pork loin, cut into 1" cubes
1 tbsp corn, canola, sunflower or mustard oil
1 sm onion, diced
1 tsp paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeno or 1 serrano chili, diced
1" fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 sm red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced lengthwise in strips
Optional: Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish

In a wok or sauté pan, start to heat oil over high heat and stir in the paprika, garlic, ginger and chili. Cook just until onions start to brown. Add the pork and stir-fry 3-5 minutes until it's thoroughly cooked. Add carrots and stir fry 1 minute. Add cabbage, blend and stir-fry 2 minutes more. Blend in the red bell pepper and season with salt to your taste. Remove from heat and serve with a sprinkling of freshly chopped cilantro.