Another Approach to Cabbage – Moroccan-spiced warm red cabbage salad

February 18, 2010 § 2 Comments

Some time has passed since my last musings about cabbage, but never fear! This by no means indicates an actual decrease in my consumption of cabbage.  Oh no, I’ve been eating it frequently and with gusto.  How else is a person supposed to survive the deepest darkest days of winter without getting scurvy?  However, I am most often a traditionalist (translation: stuck in a rut) when it comes to cabbage, and I’ve already done gone and played my hand by sharing my green and red cabbage cooking methods with you.  Because they’re good!

But, every now and then I do get a bit experimental and creative with my cabbage-centric culinary exploits.  This particular cabbage salad I deem a great success.  I made it a while ago (back before I went on carrot-strike, as a matter of fact, which is why there are carrots in it.  Negotiations went smoothly and things were settled to the satisfaction of all parties involved, in case you were wondering), and meant to write about it then.  But, I kept postponing it, for some reason – well honestly it’s mostly because the picture I took of it is kind of crazy and psychadelic looking and I didn’t really like it (anyone have any suggestions for a photography class I can take?! I think I’m getting at least a little better; I enjoy it at any rate!).

Postponement of writing aside, it’s a very yummy approach to cabbage.  It was born out of a desire to make coleslaw coupled with a voice in my head saying, “have you looked outside or felt the air in your kitchen lately?  Not exactly coleslaw weather!”  So, I thought I could maybe make a warm version of coleslaw, sautéing onion, cabbage, and carrots first, and then adding dressing at the last minute.  But, then as I was making the dressing  (with a yogurt base instead of the traditional mayo, since I had none) I suddenly decided I didn’t want coleslaw after all, I actually wanted Moroccan food!  Who knows where that came from.  But, all it took was a squirt of lemon juice, a glop of honey, and a mix of Moroccan-esque spices (cumin, coriander, cinnamon) plus a handful of raisins in the cooking cabbage, and voila!  A new salad was born.

If you sprinkled this with almond slivers or feta and served it over quinoa (a grain that is high protein, and cooks up basically like rice) or couscous, you’d have a nice vegetarian meal.  And, if for some reason you have preserved lemons around, which are not a bad thing to have around because they’re delicious, you could chop a bit of this and add it to your quinoa or couscous, making it phenomenal.  I think it would also be yummy alongside roasted salmon, pork, or chicken, or sautéed scallops that either have similar spices as the dressing, or else some sort of citrusy sauce, since North African and Middle Eastern cooking frequently features citrus (also Rose water and ground sumac, but what can I say? I just don’t stock up on those frequently).

Moroccan-spiced Warm Red Cabbage Salad

  • 1 head of red cabbage
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • salt and pepper
  • a handful of raisins, or other dried fruit (chopped
  • olive oil – for cooking and the dressing
  • a dollop of plain yogurt (1/4 cup or so) (mayo, sour cream or a smidge of buttermilk could even work too, you mostly want something creamy and tangy)
  • A couple Tablespoons of lemon juice (or other citrus juice or vinegar – something acidic)
  • A squeeze of honey or real maple syrup
  • About 1 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, and a pinch of cayenne if you want a little spiciness
  1. Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage, then cut it in half, cut out the core, and slice it into thin strips. 
  2. Skin, and chop up the onion.  Grate the carrot. 
  3. Heat a couple Tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan or pot over medium-high.  Add the onion and sautee for a few minutes until soft.  Then stir in the cabbage and carrot, season with salt and pepper, and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes or until the cabbage is tender but still a bit crunchy. 
  4. Meanwhile, make the dressing.  Whisk together about a Tbs. of olive oil, the yogurt,  lemon juice, honey, and spices.  When the cabbage is cooked, toss the vegetables with the raisins, and dressing in a serving bowl, and serve warm.

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