Yesterday was the last pickup for our Farmshare until the Spring. I was thrilled to receive more red cabbage. My body loves this delicious stuff. My fellow CSA members seemed less excited. We got red cabbage last time and most people probably still had some at home. I got one extra head from the swap box and another extra head from a friend. So, I have three heads of red cabbage! I’m making borscht for the freezer, Ruby Salad for lunches this week and my favorite Apple, Fennel, Red Cabbage Slaw to use as a side dish for dinners. Whatever is leftover I’ll make into pickled red cabbage!
I’ve been meaning to make pickled cabbage for a long time. In the summer, I go to Vancouver to visit my sister, Silvi. It’s a quick visit, but we always go to two of our favorite restaurants. We usually have breakfast at Bandita’s which serves up Mexican inspired vegetarian food. Silvi and I recommend the Estelle Taco (with black beans and pineapple) and a side salad. Then we have dinner at Nuba, which serves healthy, fresh Lebanese food in a growing number of swanky locations. Silvi and I recommend Najib’s Special (crispy lemony cauliflower). I used to get this same dish from the (now closed) Lebanese restaurant down the street from my old apartment in Queens as well have made a decent version of it at home. We also recommend Mjadra (an impossibly good lentil dish, which I will someday learn to make).
What does this have to do with pickled cabbage you may be wondering? Well both of these excellent establishments serve pickled red cabbage as a side/ garnish. Pickled red cabbage is a stunning shade of hot pink and it also happens to be crunchy and delicious. I tried making it myself after our last Farmshare pickup and have been eating it all week on black bean and avocado tacos. My tacos didn’t need any cheese because the pickled cabbage had my tangy and salty topping requirement covered. Also the pickled red cabbage gave the taco some welcomed crunch since steamed corn tortillas, black beans and avocado are all soft in texture. Maybe having pickled cabbage on hand will inspire me to try cooking more Lebanese dishes as well!
I decided to use the same pickling solution that I use to make pickled red onions and pickled celery. There are probably other ways to do it and you could easily add other spices or aromatics (Bay leaves? Celery Seed? Hot peppers?) This is just a quick, basic way to do it. You can reuse this pickling solution ONCE!
PICKLED RED CABBAGE
- 1/4 of a medium head of red cabbage
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- Cut out and discard the cabbage core. Slice or shred the leaves, rinse them and let them drain.
- Whisk together the red wine vinegar, water, salt and sugar.
- Pack the cabbage leaves into a large glass jar as tightly as you can.
- Make sure that the sugar and salt has dissolved (You can help it along by whisking) then pour the pickling solution over the cabbage so that it is totally covered.
- If you are using the pickled cabbage right away, let it sit at room temperature for an hour. If you are using it later, seal the jar and keep it in the fridge.