When in Doubt, Pickle!

Last week I got some red cabbage in my CSA share. I’m not a huge fan of cabbage. I guess it has to do with my Polish roots. For most of my life, the only  cabbage I knew was boiled or steamed until it was a mushy texture with no flavor left. Now I’m not knocking Polish food. Feed me some pierogies, kielbasa and potato pancakes any day and I’m a happy camper. But some foods the flavor just gets cooked out of like veggies and cabbage. So when I received my cabbage, I wasn’t really sure what to do with it. My new motto has been, “when in doubt, pickle!”. Seems to work pretty good for cabbage too.

I pulled this recipe from Canning Homemade and just downsized it a bit so it would work with my baby head of cabbage.

Spiced Red Cabbage – Makes 4 half pints
  • 1 medium head red cabbage
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 c white vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp whole cloves
  • 1/2 tbsp whole allspice
  • 1/2 tbsp peppercorns
  • 1/2 tbsp celery seed
  • 1 stick cinnamon – broken in half

Cut cabbage in half, remove the core and then shred the red cabbage using a knife or mandolin. Layer the cabbage in a bowl covering each layer with a bit of the salt. Let stand 24 hours covered. Rinse the cabbage and then drain the cabbage to get most of the water out on a paper towel or colander. This might take a few hours.

Pack 4 half hot, DRY half pint jars with the raw cabbage, leaving 1 inch headspace. In a piece of cheesecloth add cloves, allspice, peppercorns, celery seeds and cinnamon and tie into a small parcel. Heat vinegar and sugar in a medium pot until the sugar is dissolved. Add mustard seeds and spice bundle. Cook these ingredients together until the mixture comes to a low boil for about 3 minutes This will give the spices time to infuse into the vinegar. Remove the spice bundle.

Ladle the hot vinegar mixture into the jars leaving a 1/2 headspace. Remove any air bubbles with a wooden chopstick. Center lids and screw on bands.  Process in a water bath for 20 minutes when the water is boiling.

5 thoughts on “When in Doubt, Pickle!

  1. I have a great red cabbage soup recipe that I love. Got it from a friend in the north country, where a hot bowl of soup is often great comfort. =)

    • But does it make the cabbage mushy? That’s my fear. I’m hoping these will have some crunch to it. My other backup was tossing a salad but I didn’t have much around to toss with it.

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