Cabbage has such a bad rap. I think it’s because so many people cook it to death, until it’s a nasty, smelly, soggy mess. Who wouldn’t hate that? I love cabbage. Especially red cabbage, which always seems a bit sweeter and the leaves tend to be a little thicker, which means they hold up well during cooking. Cabbage is full of vitamins, especially vitamin C, but the more you cook it the more nutrients you destroy. I prefer to eat it raw, in slaw or salads, or to do just a quick sauté to give it a bit of heat and bring out the flavors.
This sauté is quick, flavorful and pretty too! I like to use a sausage that has fruit in it, such as chicken apple sausage, or mango jalapeno. The fruit in the sausage adds a subtle sweetness to the dish that offsets the vinegar, resulting in a lovely sweet and sour dish. The trick to getting the cabbage perfect is to cook everything else first, throwing in the cabbage just for the last couple of minutes to heat it up and soften it a bit, but not so much that you lose the texture.
Sausage and Red Cabbage Sauté
1 pound sausage links (I used Aidell’s mango jalapeno sausage), sliced
1 head purple cabbage, sliced or coarsely chopped
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
Salt & pepper
Slice up everything ahead of time. This doesn’t take long to throw together.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and heat. Add onion, fennel seed and sausage to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is tender and sausage is browned (if your sausage is really greasy, drain off the extra grease at this point; if you use a lean sausage this will be unnecessary). Add cabbage and sauté 2-3 minutes until slightly tender. Add vinegar and salt & pepper to taste. Stir to combine and continue to cook a minute more to let the flavors mingle. Serve hot.
This paired beautifully with Vinegar Roasted Potatoes.