Cabbage is not exactly a vegetable anybody gets excited about. (If you are the exception, please let me know in the comments). Cabbage is more like the perfect complement for other food. It is a hearty, healthy, vegetable canvas.
From the perspective of overall balance, cabbage is a fantastic support vegetable.
It is a little on the bland side on its own, so when you add ghee and caramelize it as you sauté, and you add simple seasonings, it heightens cabbage’s subtle flavors and turns the braised cabbage into the perfect comfort food.
This recipe for braised ghee cabbage, two ways, was conceived as a side dish, a replacement for the traditional potato or rice starch component of the plate, and part of a larger meal filled with more interesting foods.
At the same time, my braised ghee cabbage is good enough to be eaten and enjoyed on its own …. ahem Heather!
The taste of cabbage is mild, pungent if it’s good and fresh, and slightly sulfury. It is actually a wonderful taste.
You want to make sure you buy fresh cabbage.
There is no comparison between the taste of fresh, seasonal, locally grown cabbage, and the kind of bland cabbage you might get at your average grocery store. It is worth seeking out the good stuff.
So, on second thought, maybe it’s due to the abundance of bland cabbage in the world that cabbage doesn’t exactly conjure up any warm and fuzzy feelings?
This is despite the fact that Poles, Germans, Russians, the French, Swedes, and Ukrainians stake their cultures on it; all boast traditional cabbage soups. Borscht anyone?
The Good Side Of Ghee Cabbage
Cabbage is getting more popular these days, for the same reasons as cauliflower, which I wrote about last week.
Both are part of the cruciferous family, are low on the glycemic index, and good for diabetics. They are also friendly to the ketogenic and paleo diets.
And when I think of cabbage, my first thought is to appreciate it for not going bad in my fridge, even after weeks.
Maybe it is because of this virtue that we don’t cherish it as much as some of the other vegetables. It doesn’t demand our attention.
However, after getting out my cabbage head and a large chef’s knife, I enjoy chomping down on some of the beautiful inner pieces of the cabbage as I chop.
What I like to do is to relish these bits of raw, sulfury goodness, and imagine them cleaning up my innards with their peppery power as they travel through my digestive system.
Are you ready to dive into the world of ghee cabbage? It could be more rewarding than you think!
Braised Ghee Cabbage Recipe
For plain ghee cabbage
- This recipe works best in a non-stick sauté pan with a fitted lid. A sauté pan is similar to a skillet or frypan, but a sauté pan has straight sides. Any cooking vessel, including a pot, with a matching lid, will also work.
- Heat ghee in sauté pan on medium-high heat. For Turmeric and Green Bell Pepper Cabbage recipe, add turmeric to hot ghee first to release the aroma, and then proceed immediately with adding the green bell peppers.
- Add cabbage, salt, and black pepper. Stir well, add 2 tablespoons cold water, and cover. Stir occasionally and cook for 15 minutes until tender. You are basically braising the vegetables in a little bit of water, and this allows you to reduce the amount of ghee you use. If you like more ghee, go ahead and add it. If you need to add more water to prevent sticking, please add it.
- Place Braised Ghee Cabbage in a serving bowl and top with ghee. Sprinkle with crushed black pepper, and enjoy with cooked grain, and any vegetable entree, or more vegetables.
- You could consider serving this with Mashed Potato with Celeriac and Vegan Mushroom Gravy, Seared Apple and Cherry Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, or Quinoa Lentil Loaf.