Sautéed cabbage

Cabbage is supposedly the latest ‘it’ vegetable, the suddenly fashionable ‘new kid on the block’. It’s in the zeitgeist and cauliflower has been kicked to the curb and replaced with the humble cabbage.

Dear Cabbage, please know that I have always loved you. When you were the wallflower, the last kid picked for handball and the lonely vegetable left sitting on the veggie stand. Eastern Europe stood by you when so many others shunned you. You are delicious whether eaten raw, cooked, pickled and fermented.

Cabbage, I am happy that you are having your day in the sun. Please know that those of us who have always been your stalwart supporters, will still be here when your fifteen minutes of fame finally ends.


3 tbls olive oil
50g butter
400g red cabbage, finely sliced
400g white cabbage, finely sliced
1 medium onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup cold water
Salt and pepper
1/2 small lemon

Heat a large frying pan on a medium heat then add the olive oil and butter.
Once the butter has melted, sauté the onion for a few minutes, then add the cabbage and stir until the cabbage is well coated with the butter and oil.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Add 1/4 cup of water and bring to the boil then reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally for around 30 minutes until the cabbage is soft, tender and starts to caramelise. (If you want crunchier cabbage, just cook it for less time.)
Squeeze the half a lemon over the dish and season to taste with salt and pepper and serve alongside whatever your heart desires.

Cooking Notes:
I sometimes add 1/2 tsp caraway seeds with the garlic if I have them.
My hard taskmaster erstwhile editor (aka The Yak) wants me to explain the terminology ‘sauté’. Sauté means to cook quickly in a small amount of fat in a sauté pan or fry pan, over a medium to high heat for a short time.

A Cheergerm version of a dish that has been around a very long time

30 thoughts on “Sautéed cabbage

  1. I love this! As you say this will be heralded as the new super food soon – yes, it’s a vegetable which are all super foods! I love the addition of orange – will give this a go next time I make it! Thanks for sharing your recipe 😄

  2. Mmm, this sounds very good, especially the combination of oil and butter. Is the butter from the Eastern European tradition? Seems to have an affinity with the humble cabbage.

    • It really suits cabbage so well hey? Lifts it a bit I think. I know the Polish use butter (checked the Polish cookbooks I have courtesy of a Polish stepfather) but also, oil and butter together are a great combo when sautéing as the oil stops the butter burning so quickly. It’s such a tasty dish LM. I have probably made it every two weeks this winter.

  3. My Ma used to dish up red cabbage, onion, apple, capsicum and smoked sausage sautéed with butter and flavoured with a little cumin and cinnamon. It was, and still is, one of my favourite comfort foods. My super-picky nieces have one by one asked for the recipe… God bless the humble cabbage.

      • It’s one of those fallback comfort foods if you’re cold, tired and starving, occupies the same niche as mac’n’cheese without the starch. Funny thing is, the nieces are so picky it was a real surprise when they gobbled it up and wanted the recipe… Cabbage-love perpetuated for another generation!

  4. Great dish Lisa. What are they saying about cabbage? All this super foods stuff gets so tedious and as you say, 15 minutes of fame before working onto the next veggie in the patch. Your Yak sounds as demanding as my Mr T when it comes to editing.I would argue that the word sauté is as common as fry, but then we cook Lisa. That blue and white serving bowl is rather special.

    • Thanks Francesca and yes, it’s a bit OTT and does my head in sometimes. I read a few articles where it was listed as a food to eat more of (especially purple cabbage) and then on this years Masterchef it was discussed as becoming a bit of an upcoming ‘cheffy foodie’ trend. I hear you on the ‘saute’ but then as you said, we are cooks. (So I threw the Yak a bone…ha ha.) It’s a piece of Polish pottery from my mum and Polish stepdad, lovely hey?

  5. I love that your “editor” suggests that you explain the terminology – mine (aka Gary) makes similar suggestions… I to, am a huge fan of braised/sauteed cabbage and depending on what I am serving it with, add salami, apple and/or blood orange vinegar to the mix.

  6. Snap, I’m working on a resurrecting a cabbage recipe from the 70s. Let’s here it for this scrummy veg, it’s time it has it’s moment in the limelight. Always delicious, cooked or raw, I’ll be trying you version next time cabbage is called for.

    • It’s in the zeitgest indeed and that’s true too, the more veggies we all eat, the better off we and our environment will be. So Go Cabbage! I look forward to your cabbagy recipe soon Mrs R!

  7. I didn’t know cabbage was trendy. Damn. I’m having a moment in the sun with my cabbagy chum. I attribute my lifelong affection for this oft maligned vegetable to a cooking victory in “home economics” class in grade 9 when we learned to saute (don’t know how to make the accent, Cheer) it and at the last moment add lemon juice just before serving. Delish!

    • Ah, you were unknowingly part of the ‘zeitgeist’ or perhaps, you just really like cabbage! (Like so many of us, before it became all like, popular, like, you know?) Love that sauté (the accent pops up automatically otherwise I would have no idea) Home Economics story. A usefill skill learnt early on always holds us in good stead. Yummy!

  8. I really love sauteed red cabbage and this version looks really good. I also had no idea that the prosaic cabbage was so trendy at the moment. It is only horrible if it is overcooked and mushy (like many other veg). We’ve been eating it raw, thinly sliced in salads.

    • Yes, all those of us who have always loved it can feel ‘trendy’ for a moment. (Snort, chuckle.) I even love the look of red cabbage. It is so delicious raw in salads and I love your use of the word ‘prosaic’, spot on.

  9. I’m with you. I’ve always love and respected cabbage. I often made it for our Thanksgiving table, sometimes with a little port, a little jelly, and some dried cranberries added. And, I was the only person who ate the damn cabbage. Oh well. Great recipe!

  10. Late to the party on this post, Lisa. To my amazement, I have just discovered that caraway seeds are cumin seeds in French! Can’t wait to try this latest trendoid dish and use up that half red cabbage hiding away in my veg drawer.

    • Better than late than never!! He he… As for the caraway/cumin… I know they look the French call caraway ‘cumin? What do they call cumin then? Interesting, hope you get to use that red cabbage! What hipsters we are! 😂

      • Well ground cumin is also cumin… but apparently caraway seeds are also cumin? Go figure… as for us oldsters, we are the original hipsters, n’est-ce pas? ☺️

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