I had a gorgeous, fresh purple cabbage from the farmers market that was dying to be cooked in a way that really highlighted its beauty and flavor. It was a cold fall evening, and I wanted to use hearty, aromatic, wintery spices. What resulted was a delicious pot of this braised, spiced cabbage. At the end, I sprinkled some King salmon filets with cinnamon and salt, stuck them in the pot with the remaining braising liquid, poached/roasted them and served them atop the cabbage. Delicious!
This cabbage is also good cold, the next day. —em-i-lis
red wine vinegar
unfiltered apple juice, or apple cider
generous 2 tablespoons brown sugar
star anise, crumbled by hand into large pieces
allspice berries, crushed with a flat edge of a knife blade
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, put all ingredients vinegar through cinnamon stick. When the butter and sugar have melted, season the mixture well with salt and fresh pepper and then toss in your cabbage ribbons.
With a wooden spoon or the like, stir everything until well incorporated and the cabbage starts to soften, 2-3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the cabbage is soft but still retains crunch and structure. You don’t want a soggy bowl of purple.
When you’ve reached this point, remove the cover, taste the cabbage and reseason if you’d like. Cook another 2 minutes or so to let some of the braising liquid evaporate.
Remove the cabbage with a slotted spoon, and place in a serving bowl.
If you’d like, you can then sprinkle the salmon filets with some salt and cinnamon and poach/roast them in the same pan using the remaining cooking liquid.