Carrots and Cabbage and Beets! Oh My!
by mimivanderhaven.com on 07/08/2011 - 04:23 pm
by Nikki Greco
For someone who is a self professed veggie-lover and who claims to cook and eat a lot of vegetables, I was rather ashamed of myself when I got my Fresh Fork bag last week and realized how seldom I use cabbage, beets, and carrots. I don’t really like cabbage, so that makes sense, but I do like beets and carrots and besides using carrots in soups and veggie trays I don’t often prepare either of those veggies for myself.
In addition to cabbage, beets, and carrots my Fresh Fork bag contained 1lb grass-fed beef, 2 lbs sweet black cherries, a pint of black raspberries, 1 ½ lbs tomatoes, 1 head bibb lettuce, 1 quart of yogurt, some zucchini and summer squash.
I decided to try to make a coleslaw with the cabbage to see if I could find a way to like it, and foolishly thought it would be a great idea to take a brand new dish to my aunt and uncle’s 4th of July party. For some reason, I always think it is a great idea to try new recipes out as potluck dishes. Sometimes this works great, sometimes not so well, but it always stresses me out as I frantically try to get something to taste good and get ready for a party at the same time. So on Monday, as I was finding substitutes for half of the ingredients because I didn’t read the recipe before going to the grocery store, I was silently scolding myself for making a new recipe with an ingredient I don’t even like. The first taste I took was not very good and my husband actually made a face when he tried my mayonnaise-free “Lemon-cumin coleslaw.” I added more salt, stuck the whole thing in the fridge and prayed to the potluck gods hoping that in the few hours we had before leaving it would magically become tasty. Right before walking out the door I took the slaw back out and tasted it again and it was good! After the flavors had time to blend and soak in it was crunchy and flavorful and refreshing. I even got compliments at the party!
That recipe only took half of my head of cabbage, so I decided to try braising the rest of it. I browned some bacon in a pan and then sautéed onions and apples in the bacon fat, because if that can’t make something taste good, nothing can. I added veggie stock and a splash of apple cider vinegar and cooked the cabbage on high for 15 minutes. I hesitantly tried a bite and was surprised again! It was sweet and savory and still had a little bit of texture left. Hmmm, I am going to have to rethink disliking cabbage.
After looking at many recipes, but ultimately running out of time and patience for trying something new I decided to try roasting both the carrots and beets because that is my favorite way to cook almost any veggie. When in doubt I toss it in olive oil, salt and pepper and throw it in a 400° oven until tender and brown. To ensure success I did place a call to my parents about cooking the beets and found out you don’t even have to peel them first if you are going to roast them. After they are cooked the skins come off easily. I threw the carrots on a sheet pan and made a little foil envelope for the beets and let them bake away. The carrots were a huge hit with Nick, who generally doesn’t like cooked carrots. They were sweet and mild tasting. The beets were a huge hit with me because I like beets and have never been brave enough to try cooking a bunch on my own. I used the leftovers to make a gorgeous beet and feta cheese salad for lunch the next day.
This week I also made burgers out of the grass-fed beef topped with the brie cheese from the previous week and a refreshing cucumber-tomato salad, I roasted the zucchini and squash, made fruit smoothies with the yogurt, served the black raspberries on top of shortcake and ate all of the cherries straight out of the bag.
It has been a great week for eating. I am so glad I had the opportunity to work with the veggies I don’t use often and even change my mind about cabbage. I guess it just proves there is a way to make any vegetable taste delicious!
Here is my recipe for Lemon-Cumin Coleslaw. It originally came from Bobby Flay as Coleslaw with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette, but like I said, I was out of some of ingredients so it ended up a little different.
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- Few dashed of hot sauce (I used Tobasco)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ cups shredded carrots
- ½ head of green cabbage, shredded or thinly sliced
- 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced (I used yellow)
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt and Pepper
Put the lemon juice, cumin, and garlic cloves in a blender or food processor and blend. Drizzle in olive oil until everything is well combined. I used a food processor and after making the vinaigrette I used the grating attachment to shred the carrots so clean up was easier.
In a bowl combine carrots, cabbage, bell pepper, scallions, and cilantro. Pour the dressing over top and toss to coat. Salt and pepper generously to taste and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Taste and adjust salt and pepper before serving.
Here is my recipe for Braised Cabbage with Bacon, Apple and Onion
- 3-5 slices of center cut bacon
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 apple, diced
- 1/8 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp of nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup of stock (I used vegetable stock, but any will do)
- 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- ½ head of green cabbage, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Chop bacon into thin slices and brown in a large pan over medium-low heat until bacon is crispy. Remove bacon from pan and drain all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat from pan. In the remaining fat sauté onions and apple until soft, 7 to 10 minutes. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Add stock and vinegar and stir. Bring to a simmer and add cabbage. Stir to combine and cover. Let cook until cabbage is tender, but not mushy, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle crispy bacon on top to serve.