Cabbage, along with Spring Greens and Brussels Sprouts, gets a really bad press. Its not surprising really – I am sure we have all eaten really awfully cooked cabbage, greens or sprouts at one time or another … overcooked, watery, tasteless, colourless… It’s no wonder that generations of children rebel! However, cooked properly, these green vegetables can be really tasty. The secret is a short cooking time to retain crispness and colour: about 7 minutes for sprouts should be ample. If you wish, extra flavours can be added as in this recipe. I used a round winter Savoy Cabbage, which has a wonderfully ‘ruched’ texture. Substitute a different type of cabbage, shredded or quartered Brussels Sprouts or even Broccoli for variety.
This recipe comes from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, originally simple called Fried Cabbage with Bacon. It is quick and simple and can be ready in about 20 minutes, an ideal accompaniment for sausages or simply grilled meat. Be careful not to cook the cabbage over too high a heat or it could could burn: add a little water (two or three teaspoons at most) and lower the heat if this does start to happen.
Cabbage with Bacon & Onion
1lb shredded cabbage (or substitute Brussels Sprouts or Broccoli)
4 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped – more if you wish
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1tbsp olive oil
Salt & black pepper
1. Using a large frying pan, gently fry the diced onion and chopped bacon in the olive oil for about 5 minutes until soft.
2. Stir in the crushed garlic.
3. Add the shredded cabbage to the pan. It will seem to be rather a lot, but will cook down. Stir from time to time so it cooks evenly. Season to taste. After 10 minutes the cabbage should be cooked, but will still be crisp. For softer cabbage put a lid on the frying pan so that it will cook in the steam, but beware overcooking.
4. Serve with sausages or grilled meat and a jacket potato.