Monday, December 5, 2011

Warm red cabbage with balsamic infused currant, feta and spicy pepitas

I got a beautiful head of red cabbage (also known as purple cabbage) in my CSA box. Did you know that red cabbage is even more nutritious than green cabbage as it contains anthocyanins, which likely have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and sulfur compounds, in addition to lots of Vitamin C? And the deep purple reddish hue is a stunning addition to any dinner table.

This particular head of red cabbage was such a vibrant purplish red, almost the color of roasted red beets, that I immediately wanted to contrast it bright white feta cheese, purely from an aesthetic point of view. I quickly sauteed the red cabbage with shallots and garlic, seasoned with sea salt and pepper and tossed it with crumbled, tangy French feta. 

For a textural contrast and to add some spice to the dish, I added spicy toasted pepitas. I simply rubbed a cup of raw pepitas with olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and half a teaspoon each of chili powder, red cayenne pepper and ground cumin and toasted in the oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.


To counter the salty tangy feta, I added some dried red currants soaked in warmed balsamic vinegar. The result was a slightly crunchy, savory, tangy, spicy and sweet wonderful red cabbage salad. It was a huge hit as a side dish at my vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner and we can't wait to have it again!

Spicy toasted pepitas
1 cup pepitas
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red cayenne pepper
sea salt
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, toss the pepitas with olive oil and use our hands to coat well. Season with chili powder, red cayenne pepper, cumin and sea salt. Use your hands to coat each seed. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Bake for 5 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning the seeds. Let cool.

Store spicy pepitas in an airtight container.

Warm red cabbage with balsamic infused currants, feta and spicy pepitas
1 small shallot, diced about 2 tbsp
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1/2 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced lengthwise and then crosswise into 1 1/2 to 2" strips
5 oz feta, crumbled
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dried red currants
1/2 cup of spicy toasted pepitas
sea salt

Place currants in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, heat balsamic vinegar until warm, do not boil. Pour over currants and let soak for 15 to 20 minutes.

In a large high sided skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic, stir, cooking about 2 minutes. Do not brown. Add cabbage, season with sea salt and pepper, stir to coat, and reduce heat to low. Let cook for just 2 minutes, the cabbage should be tender crisp. Set aside.

Toss cabbage with balsamic and currant mixture, season lightly with sea salt and pepper, top with crumbled feta and scatter spicy toasted pepitas on top.

1 comment:

  1. Delicious and healthy! Thank you for sharing yet another soul-satisfying recipe. I'm just about to pull out a loaf of banana bread and sit down to a cup of tea. I hope you are having a lovely evening too!


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