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.

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5 comments on “When in Doubt, Pickle!

  1. Tammy says:

    I think pickle is the new black as they are appearing everywhere. There must be some type of revolution going on.

  2. It’s just so easy. And some, like the pickled jalapenos I made are so mild, you can still use them in any recipe. Just a great way to preserve the summer (and not waste all that CSA bounty)!

  3. Amanda's Amygdala says:

    Thanks for the link! Looks like we have a similar style. 🙂

  4. Mary Ann Brody says:

    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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