Recipe: Sauerkraut and cabbage
Cabbage is one of the must-have seasonal vegetables for children and adults.
Get ready to discover how to cook two much-loved vegetables: sauerkraut and cabbage.
They belong to the cruciferous family and there are many varieties: in particular, cabbage (from which sauerkraut is made), cauliflower, Savoy cabbage, kale, red cabbage and black cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
Sauerkraut takes its name from the German 'kraut' (see https://cabbage.news/ as well) and, together with potatoes and sausages, is considered an essential ingredient in many typical German dishes, found in bread, sausages and sauerkraut as well as in meat and fish main courses. They are especially widespread in central and northern Europe due to the continental climate favourable to them: in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland and many Eastern countries. In Italy we find them mainly in Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto.
To make the most of the taste of cabbage and sauerkraut, we will use different cooking methods for all their variants to give a new flavour to winter dishes and beyond.
So follow our tips to create unique menus with many recipes that are all quick and easy to prepare for many occasions.
Cabbage is widely used to prepare salads, seasonal side dishes and first courses, to season pasta and rice, as an ingredient in soups and vegetable casseroles.
Very tasty, it has smooth, glossy leaves that grow attached to each other. Their colour ranges from white-purple to white-green. Different varieties of this vegetable can be found, each of which goes better with certain foods and gives them more or less intense flavours. For example, Filderkraut is particularly suitable for making sauerkraut, while the white Copenhagen variety is recommended for adding to salads and is heavier because it looks like a compact ball.
Red cabbage is also perfect when combined with summer salads. Add some walnut kernels or carrots and fennel cut into strips. If you prefer a more original sweet-and-sour flavour, dress the salad with an emulsion of lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and a little honey. Alternatively, add slices of freshly peeled oranges and apples. Remember that the cabbage in this case must be raw.
If you prefer the vegetable cooked, stew it instead. Suggestions are to first brown 2 shallots for each cabbage used in a non-stick pan. Then add the cabbage cut into strips, deglaze with half a glass of water and one of white wine and cook with a lid on for 1 hour. If you wish, you can also add diced pumpkin to the preparation. It will be a really tasty recipe, which can be served as an appetiser (you will make excellent croutons) or as a side dish for chicken.
Other perfect combinations? Mushrooms, tomatoes and all winter vegetables. You can also use cabbage to make a richly flavoured cream of cauliflower soup or a savoury pie. In this case, you can combine it with artichokes. And how about a red cabbage pesto with sweet and sour notes? You will need: 1/2 cabbage; 50 g grated Parmesan cheese; 30 g almonds; 1 tablespoon apple vinegar; salt to taste; 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
Wash and dry the cabbage and cut it into strips to be cooked for 10 minutes in a non-stick pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Turn off the heat and add the apple cider vinegar, almonds, Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of oil and blend with an immersion blender. When you have obtained a smooth and homogeneous mixture, adjust the salt. Leave it to rest in the fridge until ready to use. It will serve as a condiment for pasta, but also as a sauce to accompany roast pork or to fill canapés.
To prepare the sauerkraut, cut the green or red cabbage into 4 parts after removing the outer leaves, then cut it into thin strips and, after washing and drying them, sauté them in extra virgin olive oil in a wide-bottomed frying pan together with a thinly sliced onion and, if you like, you can also add a few slices of speck or bacon.
Deglaze with a glass of white wine or vinegar and add herbs and spices (such as caraway seeds and juniper berries), salt and pepper to taste. Let the sauerkraut cook for 90 minutes, turning it occasionally so that it does not stick to the pan. At this point they are ready to be served as a side dish to flavour cold pasta dishes or you can sauté them with garlic until golden brown: they will make a perfect combination with frankfurters, sauces and salad for tasty sandwiches.