• In season now: May

    New this month: Asparagus! The food of gods... and carrots are back.

    Still in season from last month: cauliflower, chard, green cabbage, salad leaves, main-crop potatoes (from store), salad leaves, sea kale, spring greens, rhubarb

    Goodbye till next year to: Purple sprouting broccoli (sniff, sniff), leeks, stored parsnips, forced rhubarb

  • What I’m doing here

    This all started when I picked the first strawberries from my new allotment.

    I'd never been so enraptured or so excited by food. It was a shock to find that anything could taste so good.

    So what - I'd never had strawberries before?

    No - all the strawberries I'd had were shop-bought, like as not flown in from intensive growers in Spain or Chile, and eaten in winter when strawberries should be a distant summer memory.

    It revolutionised my thinking about the fresh food we eat every day. I started to wonder if you got the same amazing taste from all types of food grown and eaten in season. And then I decided to do something about it.

    The Year of Eating Seasonally is my little experiment to find out what it's really like not to have it all. The only fruit and veg I and my family are going to eat in 2008 will be what's growing in the ground at the time (or, in winter, what I can get out of store).

    I want to find out if the hungry gap is really as hungry as everyone says it is: whether you're really eating nothing but cabbage all winter; and whether you miss strawberries in December.

    Along the way I hope I'll save a few tons of carbon being released into the atmosphere on my behalf, as I won't be requiring those French beans flown from Chile, thanks very much. And I hope I'll be rediscovering what food can really taste like.

    If you have any comments, please feel free to post them anywhere you like - or you can email me at sallywhite@hotmail.com.

Braised red cabbage

Hot and steamy to warm you up in the winter months.

2lbs (900g) red cabbage, cores removed and shredded

1lb (450g) onions, chopped small

1lb (450g) cooking apples, diced

1 clove garlic, chopped finely

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

3 tbsps demerara sugar

3tbsps white wine vinegar

a small knob of butter

salt and pepper

 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2 (150C, 300F)..

The thing that takes the time with this recipe is preparing the fruit and veg, so do that first. Then take a small bowl and mix together the spices, garlic and sugar.

In a large casserole, spread out about a third of the cabbage so it covers the bottom and season with salt and pepper. Then put in a second layer of one third of the onions and one third of the apple, and sprinkle with about a third of the sugar and spices mixture.

Continue to alternate these layers until everything is in (about three layers, ending with an onion/apple layer). Don’t forget to add the seasonings/spices as you go.

Finally pour over the vinegar, pop the knob of butter on top, put the lid on the casserole and let it stew away in the oven for about 2 hours. Stir it after about 45 minutes, and again at an hour and a half, to mix it all in well. It’ll come out lovely and fragrant, with the red cabbage still keeping a little bite and the apples and onions nicely pink. Goes beautifully with roast pork.

One Response

  1. […] January’s recipes Braised red cabbage […]

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