I am not talking about an individual. I'm talking about a red leaf cabbage. I wonder why they called it "red" when, in reality, it is of a gorgeous purple color! Never the less, being a redhead lead this crunchy vegetable to my Red ingredients list for this month.
The red cabbage is a bit more tough comparing to its blonde sister, the leaves are a bit more stiff and more tangy to taste. I wonder if it's the same with redhead/blonde girls? I can't tell—I'm a brunette :)
So to tame this shrew, I decided to make it drunk. I remembered a method to soak the cabbage used by Georgian cooks—not from state of Georgia, but a country in South Caucasus. They use red wine vinegar and boiling water, but add beets to color the white cabbage red. In my case, I already have a rich color hue, so no beets this time. Also, by adding the vinegar, instead of just cooking the cabbage, keeps the color so bright.
To shred the cabbage you can use mandolin, or a very sharp knife—that's what I used since I don't have a slicer (yes, it's on my wish list!).
I decided to brake the cabbage's purpleness and tanginess with sweet green peas. Green just looks so good on purple. And I added sautéed red onions (which could be sliced with mandolin as well)
Drunken Red Cabbage And Peas Salad
1 medium cabbage (about 2 1/2 lb), shredded
1/2 teaspoon dry cayenne pepper
1 dry red chili pepper
2 TB spoons red wine vinegar
2 quarts boiling water
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 TB spoons oil for sautéing onions
Sea salt to taste
- Put shredded cabbage in a heat resistant bowl, add cayenne, chili, vinegar and pour boiling water over it. Keep in a warm place for at least 2 hours.
- Drain water, preserving couple of TB spoons of water. Divide cabbage in 2. Put one half in a jar, pour preserved water, cover and store in a fridge. It can be used later for more salad.
- In a salad bowl combine remaining cabbage and peas. Toss.
- In a skillet, heat 2 TB of olive oil, add onions and sauté until they turn translucent. Pour the onions over the cabbage, toss and serve sprinkled with sea salt.
To make this salad is much easier then it seems. I hope this salad will find a special place on your dinner table. Remember, it's made with Redhead!