Our kitchen garden cook reveals her favourite recipes with white cabbage.
Melanie says: ‘I hadn’t made sauerkraut before as I somehow thought it belonged to the mysteries of the mountains, but, confronted by this year’s white cabbage harvest, I decided to give it a try. I was entirely impressed with how simple it is to make. It also happens to be fabulously healthy thanks to cabbage’s ability to aid digestion.’
Pomegranate-molasses-glazed roasted duck breast with homemade sauerkraut
2 white cabbage
3tbspn sea salt, such as Maldon 2tspn caraway seeds
1 orange, juice of
40ml pomegranate molasses
15ml balsamic vinegar, the thick syrupy kind
300ml chicken stock
20g butter 4 duck breasts Seeds of 1 pomegranate
Remove the cores from the cabbages and slice them into thin ribbons. Place them in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, massage it into the ribbons for about 10 minutes or until you see a noticeable amount of water in the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle the caraway seeds over them. Transfer the cabbage to a large Kilner jar and press it very firmly down after each addition. You should have just enough water to cover the cabbage.
Put a fabric cover over the jar and seal it with a rubber band (it needs to breathe). Return every few hours and push the cabbage back down beneath the liquid. Leave it like this for about three days or until you can taste the sour sauerkraut taste, at which point, you can close the jar and place it in your fridge until ready to use. It will keep for a couple of months.
In a saucepan, combine the orange juice and pomegranate molasses. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and add the vinegar and chicken stock. Simmer until reduced and syrupy and then whisk in the butter.
Fry the duck breasts, skin side down, until the skin is crispy and then place them in the oven, skin side up, for about 10 minutes.
Heat the sauerkraut in a saucepan.
Divide the sauerkraut onto plates and top each with a duck breast. Spoon the glaze over them and add a few pomegranate seeds. Dauphinoise potatoes go perfectly with this dish.
More ways with cabbage
The ultimate cheese-and-sauerkraut toastie
Toast bread and spread with wholegrain mustard. Grate cheese onto one slice of toast and load sauerkraut onto the other. Place under a grill for a few minutes so that the cheese can melt and the sauerkraut heat up and then sandwich together for the ultimate cheese toastie.
Asian cabbage soup with soba noodles
Fill a saucepan with a litre of chicken stock. Take a quarter of a cabbage, cut it into ribbons and add to the saucepan, along with a bulb of bok choy that has been cut vertically into eighths, a sweet potato that has been cut into thin slices, a selection of Japanese mushrooms and a crushed clove of garlic. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Cook soba noodles and then toss them in sesame oil. To serve, add a pile of noodles to a bowl and ladle the stock and vegetables over them. Add a splash of soy sauce, a scattering of black sesame seeds and some fresh coriander.
Roasted cabbage slices with garlic
Cut a whole cabbage into slices and place them onto an oiled baking tray. Brush generously with a mixture of crushed garlic and olive oil and season well. Cook in a moderate oven for 20 minutes and then turn the slices over and roast for a further 20 minutes. Serve as a side dish.