Thursday, November 17, 2011

Red Cabbage with Apricots and Balsamic Vinegar

I'll admit that cabbage isn't a vegetable I often purchase, but when a head of beautiful red cabbage showed up in my CSA box, I was more than happy to search for some interesting recipes and cook it up. Cabbage typically means one of two things to me-crunchy, fresh, Asian-style slaw or a soft, long-cooked accompaniment to sausage (typically enjoyed with a cold beer). This time, I went with a recipe closer to the latter route, but this cabbage dish isn't your average sausage companion. Striking the perfect balance between sweet and sour, the apricot preserves and balsamic vinegar play off each other beautifully, each bite bursting with bright flavor. The acidity and sweetness of this dish is a perfect companion to rich and fatty sausage, the contrast between the two dishes keeping each bite new and interesting. This dish is filled with a tremendous amount of flavor despite the short cooking time and will provide a bright spot on your dinner table, mingling perfectly against the heartier fare often served during the dark and cold days of winter.

Red Cabbage with Apricots and Balsamic Vinegar
from Bon Appetit, via Epicurious
serves 6

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1 8-ounce red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1 1/2-pound red cabbage, quartered, cored, very thinly sliced
3/4 cup thinly sliced dried apricots
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, allspice and nutmeg and toss 1 minute. Add cabbage and apricots and sauté until well coated, about 2 minutes. Add apricot preserves and vinegar and toss until juices are reduced to glaze and cabbage is crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)

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