The Book Vegetables

188. Crisp Sautéed Cabbage with Caraway p.527

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You know how it goes. You get ambitious and decide to make coleslaw for that barbecue you’re hosting, and think that you should buy a big cabbage because so many are coming to this to-do. You get home and start slicing the cabbage only to discover that half of it fills the biggest bowl in the house, so the remainder goes into the crisper to quietly decompose until you can feel good about throwing it away. This recipe is the solution to your cabbage problem.

The Good: This recipe takes 20 minutes start to finish, and it gets rid of that cabbage. Slicing the cabbage very finely (use a mandolin if you have one) and sautéing it quickly doesn’t give it time to develop that sulpherous stink most people would rather avoid. It’s cooked with onion, caraway seeds, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice at the end. The carraway worked really nicely with the cabbage, it’s not a spice I think of using often, and I like to see it on things other than bread. My dining companion really liked this dish a lot, it appealed to her Ukranian roots, and I have to agree. An underappreciated virtue of cabbage is that it’s exceedingly inexpensive. What with the price of food these days, why not integrate more cabbage into your diet and save your shekels.

The Bad: There weren’t many bad points about this recipe, it’s very simple, with no surprises. The world is full of reflexive cabbage haters, if you’re one of them this dish won’t change your mind, but for the rest of us I thought it was a winner. It could have used some colour though, shredded carrot comes to mind.

The Verdict: This is a recipe I’d be willing to go out and buy a brand new cabbage for. It’s got a definite place on the menu at our next pierogi party (we probably have three a year, not counting the nights we just have them for dinner). I wasn’t expecting much from such a simple recipe, but it really worked for me.


I'm a graduate student in Montreal. I spend most of my time studying drug addiction using brain imaging techniques. I'm also a foodie, exploring the culinary world both in and out of my kitchen.

5 replies on “188. Crisp Sautéed Cabbage with Caraway p.527”

Welcome back! I thought that you had fallen off the Gourmet Gravy Train, but lo and behold, you were holding out on us.

As I was reading this post, I was thinking, “Sounds good, but what do you eat it with?” And then the answer … Perogis! I’m going to file this one away for a cold, rainy day.

This summer has been so cool and rainy in Montreal that it seemed entirely appropriate to have a perogi dinner just last week.

I knew that my grandmother cooked cabbage with caraway but didn’t know what else went in it. A quick Google search brought me here. I had no onions left (forgot about the red one!) so substituted leek. Yummy! Normally I’m NOT a huge fan of cabbage, but I really dig it like this — the lemon made all the difference, so thanks for listing the ingredients!

I’m so happy to see people “rediscovering” cabbage! It’s super healthy and so cheap. Another great thing to do with that half of cabbage left from coleslaw is a wonderful dish called Colcannon. It’s an Irish potato &cabbage casserole — basically mashed potatoes, sauteed cabbage and cheese — what could be wrong with that?!? My recipe comes from Jane Brody’s “Good Food Book” I can add the recipe if anyone’s interested! Bon Appetit!

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