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Cool Cabbage with Lorraine Fitzmaurice

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Why Cabbage is Cool:

. The odor that it emits comes from the sulphur content of cabbage which helps the body to resist bacteria and protects the protoplasm of the cells. It is said to aid in producing glossy hair.
. Contains lots of antioxidants which detoxify and prevent ageing.
. It's very low calorie which is why celebrities like Sarah Michelle Gellar stick to cabbage diets
. Cabbage is a rich source of vitamin C, of fiber, of iron, calcium, potassium
. Cabbage is one of the oldest known vegetables!

Cabbage with Garlic, Chillies and Shallots


. Cold pressed sesame oil
. 2 shallots
. 2 cloves garlic, slice into thin slivers
. 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced thinly
. 1 head of York cabbage or spring cabbage
. sea salt


1. Prepare the cabbage. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and remove the thick, hard stalk. Cut the heart in half. Wash well. Thinly slice the leaves and thinly shred the heart.
2. In a large heavy based pot, heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Fry the shallots, garlic and chilli for a minute and add the cabbage a few handfuls at a time, stirring all the time until the cabbage is coated in the chilli, garlic and shallot. Season with a pinch of sea salt and add 4 tablespoons of water to the pot.
3. Cover and over a medium heat cook the cabbage for 5-7 minutes or until the cabbage has wilted completely.
4. Uncover and turn the heat up, stirring the cabbage for another 1-2 minutes.
5. This cabbage is delicious as it is or it can be tossed with cooked buckwheat noodles (Soba).
6. Instead of salt this dish can be seasoned with a sprinkling of soya sauce at end of cooking.

Red Cabbage with Apple


. 1 head of red cabbage
. 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
. extra virgin olive oil
. 2 eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced
. 4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
. handful of sun dried raisins (optional)
. apple concentrate
. sea salt
. coarse black pepper


1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy based pot. Add the onion and fry for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the red cabbage, a handful at a time, and fry for 3 minutes.
3. Add the sliced apple and a small handful of raisins, the red wine vinegar, 4 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt.
4. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes until the cabbage is tender. Check half way through and add another 2 tablespoons of water if needed.
5. Taste the cabbage for sweetness and add apple concentrate gradually until the desired sweetness has been reached.
6. Season with salt and coarse black pepper.

Stuffed Cabbage Leaves with Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce


1 head of Savoy cabbage, spring cabbage


. 1 large onion peeled and diced fine
. extra virgin olive oil
. 3 sage leaves
. 1 tsp thyme leaves
. 250g (9oz) mushrooms, chopped fine
. 50g (2 oz) pine nuts toasted
. 1 cup of cooked brown rice (or bulgar, cous cous, quinoa)
. 100g (3 1/2 oz) cheddar cheese grated (optional)

Tomato Sauce:

. 1 onion peeled and diced fine
. extra virgin olive oil
. 2 (1lb) tins of chopped tomatoes
. 1 tablespoons of Agave syrup (or brown sugar or honey)
. red wine vinegar to taste
. 1/4 tsp allspice
. sea salt


1. Prepare the cabbage. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Discard the tough outer leaves of cabbage. Carefully separate the leaves and cut out the hard stalks with a sharp knife. Blanch the leaves in batches of 3/4 for 5 minutes. Place in a large bowl of cold water until all the leaves have been blanched. Drain and pat dry with a tea towel. Set aside.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and over a medium heat fry the onion for 3 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms, season with salt and fry until the liquid from the mushrooms has been reduced. Stir in the chopped sage and thyme. Remove from the heat and stir in the rice, pine nuts, cheese. There will be some leaves from the centre of the cabbage that will be too small to stuff. Chop them fine and add to the filling. Season.

3. Make the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a pot and fry the onion until soft but not brown. Add the tomatoes, sweetener, allspice, pinch of sea salt and 1 tin of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the red wine vinegar until an even sweet and sour taste has been reached. Spoon a layer of sauce into an oven proof dish.

4. Stuff the prepared cabbage leaves. Place a tablespoon of filling onto the leaf and fold over the sides and roll up. Place seam side down on top of the sauce in the oven proof dish. As the leaves become smaller use less filling so that the parcels do not burst. Pack the parcels close together. Cover with another layer of sauce. Cover with tin foil and place in a preheated oven, Gas 4, 180C, 350F for 1 hour.