Cabbage is a much underrated vegetable - it is actually quite nutritious and is one of those kitchen workhorses that can be used in so many ways. It keeps well and is what I turn to most in a last minute need to make a salad to go with whatever I'm making. After a visit to my local butcher, I stocked up on his wonderful Bratwurst and decided to make a German Krautsalat to go with them. I also made some great potatoes (next post). I go to Germany several times a year and one of the salads I enjoy the most is the one I am giving to you today. It's a really simple salad - just green cabbage shredded finely and softened in salted water, then dressed with white vinegar, pepper, oil and a little sugar. I like to add in other ingredients like pieces of bacon and a little chopped and sautéed shallot, but many other things can be added too, like carrots and herbs. This salad is one of those recipes where keeping it simple is the most delicious!
1 small head Green Cabbage
4 cups Boiling Water
2 Tablespoons Salt
4 Tablespoons White Vinegar
2 Tablespoons neutral tasting oil (Safflower, Sunflower, Canola or Grapeseed)
1 teaspoons Sugar
Fresh ground Black Pepper
Optional: 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 small Shallot, minced and sautéed in 2 teaspoons oil until soft
1 large Carrot Shredded
1 Red Pepper, cut into small pieces
Cut the Cabbage in quarters and cut out the core. Then shred finely with a sharp knife. Place in a large Glass or Ceramic bowl with the Hot Water and Salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until mixed. Let soak for 30 minutes or until cool. Drain the water, squeezing the cabbage with your hands to release as much water as possible. In a small bowl, mix together the Vinegar, Oil, Sugar and Black Pepper. Pour over the Cabbage. Add other ingredients if using (except for Bacon) and let sit for at least one hour or refrigerated for several hours or overnight. If using bacon, sprinkle on just before serving.
Five Element Analysis
Cabbage is a vegetable that belongs to the Earth Element so that Element is covered. The Vinegar contributes the Wood Element, the Oil made from seeds adds the Water Element and the Black Pepper brings in just a hint of the Fire Element. The Bacon and Pork Sausages we served this salad with added more of the Water Element and the Shallot brought in the Metal Element. Then only the Fire Element was missing, o we served some Strawberries for dessert to create a Five Element balance in the meal.