Sunday, July 10, 2016

Braised Cabbage with Chewy Fried Potatoes, Feta, and Dill


Nope.  It's not possible to have a simpler--or more satisfying--summer dinner. 

This week in the CSA box, we were gifted both cabbage and potatoes. In my Midwestern upbringing, this might mean a heavy meal of German Brats and Sauerkraut or smack of Irish (or New England) Boiled Dinner

Don't get me wrong. I love both. But they both feel a little heavy for a July dinner, don't you think?


Deborah Madison, described by Lucky Peach as the "Queen of Greens," is America's answer to what to do with the CSA box question.  She is also one of my heroes

She argues that Summer Braised Cabbage (combined with potatoes and dill and a smattering of fresh feta) will keep dinner on the lighter side, lift the spirits, and keep it all a bit simple in the process.

Don't we all need that?


Plus, we got to use some of the feta made by the husband-cum-fromager. Seriously, he's getting pretty good at this cheesemaking thing. And thankfully feta goes so very well with cabbage.

(I have been nudging him to let me do a post on cheese making with him. We shall see, we shall see.)


Let's pause for a moment to consider the healthiness of the humble cabbage, shall we?  

Another relative of that brassica family, this leafy veggie is kin to broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.  Apparently (at least according to this website with source material mentioned at the bottom of the page, but it's difficult to decipher which one), cabbage retains its cancer-fighting properties only if raw or lightly cooked. Thus, I guess you're out of luck here (except for cabbage's high fiber properties, which are always helpful). 

And, friends, cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K, which is good to know (actually, that's really good to know for anyone on blood thinners such as Warfarin, as vitamin K can be dangerous). And it's a darned good source of Vitamin C, B6, Manganese, Potassium, and B1


Instead, let's just come back to a simple braise, a nice fry of potatoes, a sprinkling of dill and feta, and some salt and pepper.  Simple, light, and perfect for summer. 

Thanks, Deborah Madison, for once again guiding me through my CSA box.


Braised Cabbage with Chewy Fried Potatoes, Feta, and Dill

Yield:
4 Servings 

Ingredients: 
Olive oil, for frying
4 large fingerling or other waxy potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1/4-inch thick
Salt and Pepper
1 pound cabbage
Butter
1/4 cup chopped dill or parsley (or a mixture)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions:
1. Heat 1-2 Tablespoons of oil in a 10-inch cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook, turning them occasionally, until golden and just tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

2. Meanwhile, slice the cabbage into 1/2-inch wide ribbons. Put them in a wide pan with 1/2 cup water. Cook, covered over medium heat, until the cabbage is wilted and tender, about 10 minutes.

3. Drain the cabbage well, put the cabbage in a large bowl, and toss it with butter to taste. Add the potatoes and dill and toss well. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Finish with feta and serve.

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