This dish is so basic it’s called just ‘cabbage’

Copious cabbage convinced me to craft my first batch of sauerkraut, explained in this blog’s previous post.

After all, there’s no better fate than fermentation for this vegetable, at least. Sure, I appreciate cabbage’s flavor, texture and long-keeping quality. That’s why I have it on hand more often than lettuce for salads, slaws and toppings for tacos and burgers. Fermenting, however, imbues any food with probiotic properties, aka the presence of beneficial bacteria that aid digestion. Tune into my latest podcast for more on the process.

But assuming you already have a batch of sauerkraut in the works and still more cabbage waiting in the wings, this recipe is handy. Courtesy of Eastern European grandmas everywhere, as the Chicago Tribune put it, kapusta is cold-weather comfort fare at its most straightforward. Just roast a pot of diced cabbage and onion to serve alongside any meat or sausage. Recast the leftovers in a soup, stew or pasta.

The name of this dish means simply “cabbage” in Polish.

Tribune News Service photo

Kapusta

1 large, heavy green cabbage, halved and cored

1 large sweet yellow onion (such as Vidalia), peeled

6 tablespoons olive oil

Pepper and salt, to taste

Cut the cabbage into 3/4 inch dice. Cut the onion into 1/2 inch dice. In a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot, toss cabbage and onion with the oil. (Go ahead, use your hands.) Season generously with the pepper.

Slide pot into a 325-degree oven and let cook, uncovered, stirring now and then, until soft, sweet and golden-brown, for about 2 1/2 hours. Season with salt.

Serve as a side dish to sausage or roast meat. Or boil a pound of butterfly noodles and toss with kapusta for a classic comfort dish.

Makes 6 servings.

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    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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