Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Cabbage with Coriander & Juniper

I read a description of a way of cooking cabbage from ancient Rome, with coriander and rue, and I was intrigued. From research it seems that was coriander and rue in the form of fresh green leaves. Neither of those are really available at this time of year, and I wouldn't want to cook with fresh rue either. It's bitter and nasty - I have grown it as an ornamental and knowing it used to be used as an herb I cautiously tasted it; ptui - and I'm pretty sure it's not even all that good for you. The seeds of a related plant are used as a spice in Ethiopia, but I wouldn't be able to get any easily. I did however have some juniper berries in the cupboard, as well as the coriander seed.

The result is a dish with complex flavours, slightly astringent. In short, a very good thing to serve with rich meats such as duck, pork or goose. I served mine with some nice juicy sausages.

4 servings
20 minutes prep time

Cabbage with Coriander and Juniper
1 teaspoon corander seed
4 cups chopped cabbage
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water
4 or 5 juniper berries
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons sherry
salt & pepper to taste

Lightly toast and grind the coriander seed.

Wash and chop the cabbage and drain it well. Put it in a pot with the butter, water, coriander and juniper, and bring to a boil. Cook until the water is mostly evaporated, about 7 or 8 minutes. Add the sherry vinegar, sherry and salt and pepper as required, and continue cooking for just a minute or two more, until the vinegar and sherry are absorbed.

Do watch the cabbage carefully as it cooks, and don't let it scorch, which can happen quickly as the water boils off.

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