Cabbage, Spiced and Braised

Summary: This spiced cabbage makes a wonderful side dish or base for roasted salmon. It's also nice layered atop a rye cracker and hummus.

Yield: serves 3-4


  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup  water
  • 1/4 cup unfiltered apple juice, or apple cider
  • generous 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 star anise, coarsely crumbled by hand into large pieces
  • 6 allspice berries, crushed with a flat side of a large knife blade
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium head red cabbage, thinly sliced into ribbons
  • *2 salmon filets, optional


In a large skillet over medium-high heat, put all ingredients vinegar through cinnamon stick. When the butter and sugar have melted, season the mixture well with salt and fresh pepper and then toss in your cabbage ribbons.

With a wooden spoon or the like, stir everything until well incorporated and the cabbage starts to soften, 2-3 minutes.

Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the cabbage is soft but still retains crunch and structure. You don't want a soggy bowl of purple.

When you've reached this point, remove the cover, taste the cabbage and reseason if you'd like. Cook another 2 minutes or so to let some of the braising liquid evaporate.

Remove the cabbage with a slotted spoon, and place in a serving bowl.

*If you'd like, you can then sprinkle the salmon filets with some salt and cinnamon and poach/roast them in the same pan using the remaining cooking liquid. I did this and it was lovely.