Snow White’s Winter Cabbage Salad – and a quick briefing on white cabbage
Tried and Supplied’s founder, Domini Hogg, was keen to experiment with dishes incorporating white cabbage… as opposed to green cabbage… and all the other forms of cabbage (go here for more on that).
Briefing on white cabbage
White cabbage, aka Dutch cabbage has smooth pale green leaves. It comes into season in September, but those with the best flavour appear in December. When buying a white cabbage check that the light green leaves are tightly packed into a heavy ball.
White cabbage needs to be cooked correctly otherwise, when overcooked, it becomes mushy and sulphurous. Shred it, and then, either steam, or stir fry, of braise in stock or white wine, for about five minutes (perhaps a couple more minutes for steaming or stir frying). It should still retain a slightly crunchy texture.
It benefits on serving from a drizzle of nut oil, or sesame oil; and some freshly ground black pepper, or, because white cabbage has a lovely sweet, mild and earthy taste, with a pinch of earthy Urfa pepper flakes. You can also add some dry-fried and crushed cumin seeds, or some nigella seeds. Jamie Oliver adds bacon and thyme to his braised white cabbage.
White cabbage is the cabbage of choice (the only cabbage in fact) to use to make sauerkraut or coleslaw. It’s slightly bitter, so it pair well, cutting through the richness, with pork or duck.
White cabbages will keep for a couple of weeks in a cool, dark place. But, NB, they don’t freeze well.
Snow White’s winter salad
The recipe Saucy Dressings has invented for Tried and Supplied uses December white cabbages in a healthy, Christmassy mixture (is this a contradiction in terms?).
Why have we gifted this salad to Snow White? Because at the beginning of the original story, as recorded by the Brothers Grimm, a lovely, pregnant queen sits sewing at a window during a snow storm. She pricks her finger and drops of blood fall on the glistening white snow. “How I wish that I had a daughter that had skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as night”, she says to herself, and shortly afterwards she gives birth to Snow White, tragically dying in childbirth as she does so.
But she should have been careful what she wished for. Snow White does indeed have all these stunning attributes. She is more beautiful than her new step-mother, who becomes insanely jealous…and we all know the rest.
So this salad combines white cabbage, red cranberries, and black nigella seeds.
In her book on Ukrainian cooking, Mamushka, Olia Hercules includes a recipe for a white cabbage slaw which includes carrots, dill, and toasted sunflower seeds.
Recipe for Snow White’s winter cabbage salad
- 180g/6 oz shredded white cabbage
- 180 ml/¾ cup plain, creamy, yoghurt
- 4 tbsps dried cranberries or raisins
- 70g/3 oz lardons
- olive oil for frying
- 4 tbsps of pine nuts
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- 2 sticks of celery
- nigella seeds – a sprinkling
- Warm a little olive oil in a medium frying pan. Fry the lardons. Meanwhile destring and chop the celery, reserving the leaves for garnish. Add the celery to the pan.
- Then add the shredded cabbage and fry for about eight minutes…no longer.
- Season, and add the cranberries and pine nuts, and continue cooking – add a slurp more of olive oil if it needs it.
- All to cool for a few minutes before moving to a salad bowl.
- Stir in the yoghurt and the mustard, mix well.
- Serve, garnished with the celery leaves and the nigella seeds.
Music to play while you read and cook
Disney’s Snow White sings Someday My Prince Will Come.