ROBERT RABINE: Making red cabbage and cauliflower sexy

Braised cabbage and apples in red wine.

I was listening to a chef on NPR the other day and she was reminiscing about a cooking class she took some time ago with Marcella Hazan. They started off by braising cabbage in red wine.

Cabbage certainly isn’t sexy, but its cheap and there are a million and one ways to cook it. It takes on a very silky texture when you braise it with red wine, not to mention that fabulous color. You can make this more complex and decidedly un-vegan by substituting bacon fat or butter for the vegetable oil. The cauliflower recipe is ridiculously easy, and also has a million options. Depending upon the salad dressing you use, it can be anything from vegan, with a simple vinaigrette, or spicy and luscious with something like Chipotle Ranch. Follow my new project on Instagram@robert.rabine

Heat the butter in a Dutch oven set over a medium flame until foaming. Toss in the cabbage, onions, sliced apple and the salt. Sautee and stir frequently for around 10-12 minutes until the cabbage starts to get soft. Sprinkle on the sugar, add the remaining ingredients and continue to cook over a medium-low flame for another half hour or so, stirring occasionally. Add a small amount of water if the cabbage seems too dry. Adjust the seasonings and serve warm. Serves 6.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a cast iron or non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Remove leaves from cauliflower head and trim the bottom so it sits flat in the pan. Pour out salad dressing into a shallow bowl and dip the cauliflower head into the dressing, coating it completely. Bake in the prepared pan in the oven for 40 minutes or so, basting periodically with the remaining salad dressing, or until a sharp knife slides in easily. Serves 6.

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