Friday, February 4, 2011

Red Cabbage Risotto

The Red Cabbage cut in half

We got a red cabbage from our CSA this week and I have to admit we were initially a little scared by it. I tend to associate the word "cabbage" with something with a foul smell and a pungent taste. We were determined to do the best we can with anything we got in our weekly box, so I started my online research of recipes. First of all I had to make sure of exactly what kind of cabbage we were talking about. If you Google red cabbage you get the picture of this shiny red cabbage and that is not how our cabbage looked like. Our cabbage was surrounded by dark purple-blue leaves, but once cut in half it revealed its characteristic purple and white wavy pattern. Most of the Italian websites recommended cooking it as a simple risotto and since I had at home a good organic brown basmati I decided to give it a try. Here is my recipe:

Red Cabbage Risotto

Ingredients for 4 people
  • 1 medium red cabbage
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup of brown rice ( I have used Organic Basmati)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter  ( not for vegan or lowfat version)
  • 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese ( not for vegan or lowfat version)
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 2-3 cups of vegetable broth ( as an alternative you can also boil the discarded leaves of the cabbage with one extra onion )
Raw Diced Red Cabbage and Onion
  1. Remove the outer darker leaves of the cabbage until you get to the dark red and harder core
  2. Dice the cabbage and the onion
  3. In a large fryer or in a wok, pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom and add the onion and the cabbage
  4. Saute' the vegetables until the onion is translucent and the cabbage is softening
  5. Add the rice to the fryer, stir until the rice is translucent than add the white wine and let it evaporate
  6. Add enough broth to cover the rice and then let the rice simmer covered until the liquid has evaporated
  7. Add more broth and repeat the process of letting it simmer until the rice is done
  8. Once the rice is done and all the liquid has evaporated add the butter and finally the Parmesan cheese ( for a vegan  or a low-fat version, just skip this passage)
  9. Add salt as needed and serve ( I like adding the salt at the end because that way I can dose it better, depending on the saltiness of the broth and other ingredients.
The Result
The final result was not only delicious it was also beautiful to look at! The rice and the onion turned as pink as the cabbage itself, the cabbage was soft and slightly sweet at the taste, I think a good variation would be adding a "smelly" cheese like a Gorgonzola or a Taleggio or even a Brie. My husband loved it and went back for seconds, we are definitely happy we tried this new vegetable that is going to become part of our everyday diet.  It is also a good dish from a nutritional standpoint, the rice is a good source of whole grains, while the red cabbage, according to the website Nutrition Data, is 

 also a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Selenium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.

1 comment:

  1. Red Cabbage is our favorite for salads and cooking - it has a good strong flavor and lasts forever. And red cabbage sauerkraut - yum!