Fortunately, CSA is not just about getting a good deal on local, organic vegetables. It is about being part of a community committed to good food. As regular readers of this blog know, sometimes enjoying what is local and good takes a little effort. Most of us have gotten so accustomed to foods that are easy, comfortable, and tasty in a very generic way. A subscription to a CSA puts us in touch with the rhythms of the land around us, and connects us to the foods that are best suited to each season. And it takes a little help to enjoy that sometimes.
|Unfortunately, I did not slice across our cabbage to see if it had a spiral like this. It was, incidentally, a deeper purple than any red cabbage I had seen before.|
The recipe is simple -- simple enough that we were able to pull it off in a kitchen other than our own. Herewith, the details:
Heat 2 T oil, then add 1/2 diced onion and 1/2 diced apple (peeled and cored), sauteing until golden brown. (In reality, I used a whole onion and a whole apple -- we had cabbage to
Add four cups thinly sliced cabbage. Of course, I did not measure this; I was going to use all of this except the tough outer layers, and I was certainly not going to go buy more if I was a 1/2 cup short! I think slicing the cabbage thin was key, as was reducing the heat so that it did not cook too fast. I added 1/4 cup (or so) apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup sugar. I actually added all the sugar we had in a little dish, and it was actually brown sugar. This was another key to the success of this dish, I'm sure.
I could not find any celery seed, so in place of 1/4 t of this, I added a liberal sprinkle of dried basil. I simmered for 10 minutes, mixing frequently and thoroughly. I then added 1/4 cup diced Canadian bacon. (Again, the measurement was imperfect -- it was one small package, minus a thick slice for the dog's dinner.)
I sauteed for just another couple minutes, until the bacon was heated through and the whole thing was nice and glazy. I have been careful not to overcook cabbage ever since I heard one of those food-chemistry discussions of how it can go quite quickly from raw to crisp to tender to sulfurous nasty mush.
Fortunately, this reached desired sweet-and-sourness as well as desired tender-crispness in less than a half hour start-to-finish, earning its honored place in our cabbage repertoire!