When it comes to food, I'm pretty sure that all of my friends think I am a little bit mad. There was the crazy Twitter and Skype conversation between Sherin, Kathryn and I where I was pronounced a total butter snob because I refuse to buy American butter and only go for the finest (usually French) unsalted butter in my cooking and baking. Then, there is the fact that I know that my roommates think I'm bonkers that I cook and bake every meal from scratch, even cookies. They'll occasionally see me come back with a meal from my favourite take-out place, TLT in Westwood or some pastries from the Bouchon Bakery in Beverly Hills or carrot cake from Joan's on Third, but that is about it. The eye rolls a few weeks ago came from how stupidly excited a big, beautiful purple cabbage from the local farmers market made me.
I started with a deliciously warm and cheering cabbage soup made with some fantastic carrots I also grabbed some other vegetables I had laying around, and some homemade potato gnocchi I had in the freezer by the way of dumplings. That week I had been on a bit of a kick cooking meat and chicken dishes out of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, so it obviously was not going to be long until I wondered what it would be like to make Deb's Vinegar Slaw with Cucumber and Dill with purple cabbage rather than white to serve alongside the meat dishes (her melt in the mouth Tomato Glazed Mini Meatloaf and Chicken Mustard Milanese!) This recipe is 1/2 of what is listed in the book so can obviously easily be doubled, but I have halved it (quartered what is in the book) too. It keeps very well in the fridge for up to a week.
- 1/2 Head of Purple Cabbage
- 1 Large Cucumber
- 1 tbsp Fresh Chopped Dill
- 60ml White Wine Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Salt (the book lists Kosher Salt, I use French Fleur de Sel)
- 2 tsp Granulated Sugar
- 60ml Cold Water
Cut out the solid white core from the cabbage and shred it as thinly as possible with a large sharp knife. Toss together with the dill and the cucumber, skin on and sliced into as thin slices as you can manage in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl whisk together the vinegar, water, salt and sugar until all of the sugar and salt has dissolved. Pour over the cabbage and toss. Set aside for at least an hour, tossing occasionally. Serve alongside cold meats, Eastern European foods and at barbecues this Summer (or now, if you live on my coast of America!)
What alternatives to the generic meat and potatoes do you like to serve alongside your meat and protein dishes?