Growing up we always had some sort of braised red cabbage during the Jewish holidays, especially Rosh Hashanah – a sweet and sour jumble that I remember being very skeptical of, but then really falling for. And now it’s pretty much the first thing I reach for, and I don’t pass up a second helping.
For this cabbage dish I decided to fall head first down the notion of red, adding radicchio and red onions. The stovetop braising softens the bitterness of the lettuce and the sharpness of the onion, but they do contribute wonderful layers of flavor to the dish. A little sweetness coming from the honey and the orange juice, a bit of tartness from the lemon, and a bit of both from the balsamic vinegar.
A gorgeous side dish and a great companion to a roast meat. This dish is perfect for Jewish holidays like Rosh Hashanah.Tweet This
Seriously, how gorgeous is this dish, and cant you picture it sitting next to a roast of any kind? This makes a lot, so make sure to use a big pot or Dutch oven. If you don’t have a big group you can easily cut this recipe in half — it does make a lot. But I love the leftovers, so I’m always going full batch.
Madeira wine is a fortified wine often made in Portugal, usually with some sweetness to it. If you don’t have it you can skip it, or use another fortified wine like Marsala if you have it. Otherwise you still get the benefits of braising in some wine from the rd wine, and a bit of sweetness from the honey.
Also, even though I call this braised cabbage, it’s technically just simmered since braising usually includes a lid at least some of the time. But it just feels braised, soft and tender, so….I’m calling it braised, incorrectly. My grammar also isn’t so hot much of the time. I rely on other charms, like incorrectly named dishes.
Spicy Braised Radicchio and Red Cabbage with Citrus
- 2 medium heads radicchio
- 1 head red cabbage
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
- 2 red onions halved and thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 cup red wine
- ¼ cup Madeira
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- Quarter and core the radicchio and cabbage, and very thinly slice both vegetables. Place the radicchio and cabbage in a large bowl. Sprinkle over the orange juice, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar, give a very generous sprinkling with salt, and toss. (This will look like a lot of vegetables, which it is, but keep in mind that it will reduce by almost half when cooked). Set aside, and give the mixture a toss every once in awhile, while you sauté the onions; you can cover the bowl and refrigerate it overnight if you like.
- Melt the butter in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven until the onions are very soft and lightly browned. Stir in the red wine, Madeira, honey and thyme and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the radicchio, cabbage, and the citrus juices. Simmer for about 45 minutes, over medium heat. Add the onion, red pepper flakes, coriander and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 12 minutes until the vegetables are wilted and very tender and the liquid has reduced and thickened a bit. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot or warm.
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