Cooking

In Praise of Cabbage

Three recipes to spice up a homely winter vegetable
Our still-life study: cabbage
Cabbage Bronwyn Tim Wiechmann Bar Boulud Olivier Quignon Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Could cabbage be sexy?

That was our vision for this sturdy, somewhat austere winter standby.

We went to Tim Wiechmann, chef and co-owner of Bronwyn, a German Austrian bar and restaurant in Somerville, MA, for advice.

"Cabbage is the best, man. But sexy cabbage?" he asked with a chuckle.

"How about wholesome, consistent, always-there-for-you, down-to-earth cabbage?"

Sure, we'd settle for that.

Tim Wiechmann's pork schnitzel with braised cabbage | Punjabi cabbage
Weichmann pairs sweet and sour braised red cabbage with his pork schnitzel (see the recipe).

"My chefs call it magic cabbage," he says. "We dump vinegar, honey, bacon, onions and cabbage in a large pot and forget about it for seven hours."

You don't have to let it cook that long to get a really beautiful, deep violet cabbage that pairs nicely with any kind of stewed or roast meats.

Olivier Quignon, the executive chef of Bar Boulud in Manhattan, recommends blanching cabbage before cooking it. "That takes away some of the bitterness and keeps the color."

Olivier Quignon's endive and cabbage salad
To keep things simple and bring out the bright color and crunch of red cabbage, Quignon marinates it in hot cider vinegar then tosses it into a salad with endive, Gruyère, apple and walnuts (see the recipe).

To celebrate the versatility—and innate mustardyness—of cabbage, our Test Kitchen developed a take on classic Punjabi cabbage (see the recipe). Fried black mustard seeds lend a nice bite to this side dish which can be served hot or at room temperature with flatbread or paired with pork chops or roast salmon.

Bar Boulud 1900 Broadway New York NY 10023 212-595-0303 Bronwyn 255 Washington St. Somerville MA 02143 617-776-9900

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