5 Ingredients or Fewer

Waverley Root's Agrigento Red Cabbage with Black Olives and Capers

February 24, 2016
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Sweet and sour braised cabbage is a familiar character in German beer hall menus, with the punch of vinegar usually offset by melted brown sugar and apples. But as I've come to learn from this Sicilian recipe published in 1974, what braised cabbage might have really needed all along wasn't wasn't sweetness, but umami, in the form of black olives and crushed capers. Adapted slightly from [The Best of Italian Cooking](http://www.amazon.com/Waverly...) (Grosset & Dunlap, 1974). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 1 large red cabbage, about 2 1/2 pounds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • Chicken broth (vegetable broth or even water are also fine)
  • 1/2 cup sliced, pitted oil-cured black olives (kalamata also works, but it will be slightly bitter and tart, rather than salty and meaty)
  • 3 tablespoons capers, pounded in a mortar or mashed with the side of a large knife
  1. Halve then core the cabbage. Slice cabbage thinly. Heat oil over moderate heat in a large pan that will hold the cabbage comfortably. Add cabbage, salt, pepper; mix well. Add wine vinegar and continue cooking for 15 minutes, moistening occasionally with a little broth to prevent sticking. Add black olives and capers. Cover and simmer another 30 minutes or until cabbage is tender.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

20 Reviews

Nicole E. May 26, 2019
I've been making this recipe almost once a month since it was posted. The Polish husband could eat the whole thing in one sitting and it has replaced the German recipe my mom would make for holidays. Sometimes we add mushrooms or throw a sunny side egg on top.
Cheryl February 6, 2019
Terrific! Next time, I'll halve the vinegar and see how that works, but still great as written. Love the olives and capers. Thank you!
Adrienne January 18, 2018
A new favorite! I’ll be making this all winter. I served it with chicken and bread and it was the perfect meal
Mary G. December 7, 2016
As a child I grew up in a German/French Canadian home. My German father used to make braised red cabbage all through the winter. It must be in my DNA as I crave it every fall. I'm definitely going to try this as I just bought amazing olives and a jar of brined capers at an Italian grocery in Montreal. A new twist on an old favorite..I'll report back!
NancyFromKona June 22, 2016
I have just finished making my 4th batch...just love it. I serve it under grilled chicken or pork, serve it hot or cold, simply super savory.
Ann April 10, 2016
This recipe just didn't do it for me. I like all the ingredients but, somehow, not together. Also it made a large portion and I didn't find it particularly versatile in terms of working with other dishes.
Hellecoox February 28, 2016
re: Mike Swanger, and Kirsten Miglore: So, what kind of capers is best?
JORJ February 28, 2016
Do you have any serving suggestions for this dish? Is it a side or could it be a main?
maria February 28, 2016
Would this work with green cabbage?
Gail February 28, 2016
My mistake. I just looked at the recipe again and DID see the red wine vinegar. I have to put my glasses on. But did I see somewhere about brown sugar or was that referring to another recipe?
Gail February 28, 2016
I see in your description of how to cook this cabbage that wine vinegar is added but I do not see it listed in the items needed or what kind? Also, it mentioned something about brown sugar is that include in this recipe too???
Joni W. February 28, 2016
I don't think canned black olives would substitute well. They have a completely different flavor and texture.
RSherr February 28, 2016
I'm assuming this works just as well with green cabbage.
Susan L. March 6, 2016
I don't think it would be at all the same. The two cabbages have different tastes. The red is sweeter.
David A. February 28, 2016
I imagine that I should slice the cabbage against the grain, but what do you consider a thin slice (in mm or inches)?
Cade February 26, 2016
When do you add the broth?
Mike S. February 25, 2016
I've got salted capers. Rinse them off or leave as is and just season to taste prior to adding additional salt?
Kristen M. February 25, 2016
Great question—I've always rinsed. Do you ever leave the salt on? The amount is small enough that you might be able to here, if you don't add other salt at first.
shahnnen E. February 24, 2016
what do we think about using run-of-the-mill black olives that I always have in my pantry?
Kristen M. February 24, 2016
That was probably what most American cooks were using in 1974, so if you like the flavor of them in other things, I think they'd do just fine here.