Friday, January 4, 2008

Red Cabbage Salad

So I turned to my trusty Vegetables Every Day cookbook tonight. Man, I am so easily persuaded yesterday it was my "new" cookbook, and today it's my old and trusty one. OK so I turned to my new favorite (does that sound better?) cookbook for tonight's lovely side dish. I didn't mean to pick another salad, there are tons of actual hot vegetable dishes, but this one caught my eye and just wouldn't let it go.

Although it's hard to get more American than my family which started showing up here in 1640 and wreaked all kinds of havoc including starting the Salem Witch Trial problem (bad bad girls run in the family), we somehow managed throughout the years to marry other people of mostly German descent. SO we say things like "were you snitching the bacon"? "Don't shputt!" (which means something like don't act like something bad can't happen to you.) and "Throw away your schnippels." Schnippels is a great word, I have no idea how its spelled, but it basically means your cutting scraps. The other thing that comes from being mainly of German descent is that foods like red cabbage and sauerkraut and spatzle become comfort foods. Don't worry, I will get to posting about spatzle, but right now we're concentrating on vegetables.
Red cabbages are really good for you. They are higher than green cabbage in vitamin C. They are loaded full of folate and potassium. And there's a bunch of fiber to help with... ahem... a, shall we call it, sluggish digestive system. With this final point in mind, I didn't eat all of tonight's salad in one sitting. That doesn't mean I didn't want to.

This salad is crazy good. It has the crunchy sweetness of the red cabbage mixed with the creamy tang of the goat cheese and then chewy little bursts of salty bacon. Oh how I love those chewy little salty bursts of bacon! I was crunching along thinking, Hey this is a pretty good salad. Then I got a piece of bacon and it evolved into "Holy Jesus, thank you for this delicious salad." I don't even think my salad got all the bacon it's supposed to have, as I have a nasty nasty habit of munching on available cooked bacon even if I know it goes someplace special. So it might be even better than mine tastes right now!

The only slight problem is that this is supposed to be a warm salad and frankly it is darn chilly in our house and my salad is only lukewarm. Still tastes good though. Definitely better than pie.

Warm Red Cabbage Salad with Bacon and Goat Cheese

1 small head Red Cabbage
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 small onion, minced*
3 Tbsp cider vinegar**
Freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. goat cheese crumbled

Remove outer leaves of cabbage. Quarter the cabbage through the stem end. Cut out and discard the core. Slice the cabbage into thin strips. Place the cabbage in a large bowl and set aside.

Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until very crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towl. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat.

Add the oil to the bacon fat left in the pan and heat briefly. Add the shallots and saute over medium heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste***. Simmer for 30 seconds to let flavors combine.

Pour the dressing over the cabbage and toss to combine. Add the bacon and goat cheese and toss several times. Serve immediately.****

*Mr. Bishop calls for 2 medium shallots, minced, but frankly I don't keep shallots on hand.

**Sherry vinegar as the recipe requests is nowhere to be found in my little town and I wasn't driving to the next county for it. The cider vinegar compliments the cabbage nicely in my opinion.

***You can stick your finger in the bubbling pot of dressing if you want, but I just eyeballed it. Actually, I giggled when I read this one.

****Yeah, my digestive system would go into overdrive if I ate the whole thing myself, so over here we're trying to chill it in the fridge and finish eating it tomorrow.


Deborah said...

So I'm trying not to bookmark as many recipes because I'm trying to focus more on my cookbooks, but this recipe is now bookmarked. Add bacon and cheese to a vegetable - I'm in heaven!

glamah16 said...

My Certain Someone is German. And he loves Red Cabbage. I have to try this one for him.

Zylo said...

That's probably the most beautiful shot of a cabbage I've ever seen. It looks like silk.

Gretel said...

Mmmmm.... bacon.