Posted By admin on March 6, 2012
March rolls in the hope of spring along with truckloads of cabbages displayed in produce departments servicing potential patrons of St. Patrick’s Day. One certainly need not be Irish to enjoy this undervalued member of the cruciferous family that offers up a lot more than a side-kick to the traditional corned beef supper.
The display of organic cabbages has been impressive this season, sporting crisp, tight, unblemished leaves in an array of sizes. Whether part of a long slow braise or added to a mixed green salad, they offer a surprising sweetness.
This recipe was a result of a desire for a bed of something “yummy” flanked alongside a boneless turkey breast, which can sometimes lean towards dryness under the best of circumstances. I have since served it as an accompaniment to leg of lamb as well as oven roasted chicken and it has proved to be a complimentary and versatile side dish.
Lately, I have been fully appreciating the flavor of fennel seeds and finding new and exciting ways to incorporate them into several dishes. The unique flavor of fennel adds a pleasing dimension to this dish.
1 large green cabbage, about 2.5 – 3 pounds, cored and chopped into strips
1 large onion, cut in half and sliced
2 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
Sea salt to taste
¼ – ½ cup of water
In a 6-8 quart pot or dutch oven, toast fennel seeds for about 1 -2 minutes or until fragrant. Add 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter (or 2 tablespoons of olive oil) and heat. Slowly sauté onions on a low flame for about 20 minutes, until softened and slightly browned. Add the cabbage and stir to mix. Add ¼ cup water. Cover the pan and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding additional water if necessary. After 30 minutes, add the apples, lemon juice and agave. Stir and simmer with the lid on the pot another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sea salt to taste.
Makes great leftovers, even better the next day!