5.2.12

Red cabbage galette

At the risk of overwhelming you with red cabbage recipes, dear reader, I have another to offer up.  I had actually chosen this before Pippa posted her recipe for Danish red cabbage earlier in the week and thought about trying something else instead, but then decided to go ahead with it anyway.  It's a good winter dish to beat the cold dark nights!

I was a fairly fussy eater as a child, and vegetables weren't really my thing.  I loved peas, corn, tomatoes and beans, but turned up my nose at broccoli and cauliflower, dreaded school lunches that featured spinach, and positively ran screaming from beets and brussel sprouts.  Some things haven't changed.  I'll still avoid sprouts and beets if at all possible, and haven't really tried to acquire a taste for cauliflower.  But I have become much more adventurous with my vegetarian cooking and now routinely try out vegetables that I always assumed I would never like.  One example is cabbage.  I'm not a fan of the green variety (overcooked school dinners to blame again, I feel) but last year one day on a whim I picked up a red one in the supermarket, and fried ribbons of it in olive oil with peas and bacon bits.  Absolutely delicious (either a plateful as a main meal or as an accompaniment to meat), and visually arresting besides.

Since then I've been wanting to try something a little more ambitious with red cabbage, hence this recipe.  And since this blog was originally designed to record experimentation in cooking rather than just the success stories, I'm posting this with the proviso that I think it needs some tweaking to become great, rather than good.  I'll definitely try it again though and work on the kinks, which are most likely due to human error rather than the recipe itself!

Balsamic Red Cabbage Galette with Caramelised Onions and Feta
(Adapted quite liberally from Food 52)

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups wholegrain flour (or all-purpose flour)
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp vegetable shortening, cold and cut into small pieces
3 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water

Mix the flour and the salt in a bowl.  Add the vegetable shortening and the butter and mix (with your hands or a palette knife) until it has a breadcrumb consistency.  Add the cold water a tbsp at a time, mixing after each addition, until a smooth dough forms.  Shape this into a round disc and cover in clingfilm. Chill until you are ready to make the galette, at least an hour.  Use this time to make the filling.

Cook's admission #1: I mixed this by hand, ignoring the recipe's exhortations to do it with a food processor.  Maybe I should have listened!  Or used all purpose flour instead of wholegrain.  Or added more water.  I'm not sure.  When the dough came out of the fridge it had gone too hard, and then crumbled when I started to roll it out.  I added more water and managed to get it in a semi-decent shape, but it didn't quite cook properly.  I was just starting to get confident about my pastry-making abilities too!  Oh well, pride comes before a fall.  Maybe the answer is to use pre-prepared pastry next time.  Shortcrust would probably be best.

For the filling: 
pinch of salt
4 tbsp olive oil
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs, lightly toasted
3 large garlic cloves, minced
4 cups red cabbage, cut into thin ribbons (I would use your own judgment about quantities here.  The recipe called for 6 cups but that seemed like far too many - one red cabbage produced more filling than was needed as it was!)
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced (but dried rosemary will also do nicely)
1/3 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
3 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Add the onions and stir to coat with the oil. Add a pinch of salt. Allow the onions to cook slowly for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You are looking for brown onions, not burned ones. Adjust the heat accordingly. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar at the end. Stir constantly for one minute then remove from heat.

While the onions are browning, preheat the oven to 400°F. In a second large pan heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the red cabbage, 3 cloves of minced garlic, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook slowly until the cabbage begins to soften. Add the rosemary and the remaining 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Cook for one minute and remove from heat. The cabbage will continue to wilt in the hot pan. Allow the cabbage to cool slightly, then stir in the sour cream and parmesan.

Roll out the dough into a large circle approximately 1/8 inch thick. Place it on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the dough, leaving a 2 inch margin at the edge. Evenly spread the caramelised onions over the crumbs. Spoon the cabbage mixture on top of the onions. Fold the edges over and gently pinch them in place. Sprinkle the crumbled feta over the opening of the galette. Place the galette in the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch. Carefully slide the galette onto a serving plate. Serve with a salad, peas, or some other green vegetable (for the colour contrast, mainly!) and, if you're hungry, with some kind of meat.  We had a chicken breast with ours.

Cooks admission #2: This recipe also called for a garlic feta sauce and for some complicated procedure involving roasting sunflower seeds in sugar.  I couldn't be bothered with either of those steps but see the link to the original recipe if you're a purist and want to make the recipe as originally designed.  

Preparation time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes

This is not a quick and easy recipe.  It is designed for a weekend evening when you have plenty of time (and if you're lucky like me, have good friends over to help you chop vegetables and clean dishes!).  But it is worth trying, and experimenting with.  Specifically, I think it could do with the addition of a few more ingredients to balance the flavour of the red cabbage.  More cheese is always a good idea, so next time I would add a layer of feta between the onions and the red cabbage in addition to the layer on top.  It would also be good to add some diced bacon somewhere into the mix.  But you can do almost anything you want with a galette, it seems, so have fun playing around with it!

5 comments:

  1. I would love to try this sometime, eating it that is, rather than making it although I'd be game for the latter if there were good friends to help out and wash up and share a bottle of wine with!

    I confess that you may have developed your aversion to the cabbage family from me. We were served a lot of unadorned boiled cabbage as children (I'm glad my sib has got over it and made friends with the vegetable again) and I, too, had a mega aversion to the stuff in its boiled form for many years. Still do, in fact, and I could live happily without coleslaw which my late ma-in-law produced in great quantities at regular intervals. I will admit that I have never ever bought a cabbage , much less prepared either the red or green variety. But I know I would enjoy and savour both dishes in the red cabbage section of our blog so hope perhaps you and Pippa can be persuaded to serve me them at some point?

    Re cauliflower: one of your projects should be to discover a form in which you might enjoy it. I'll throw down the gauntlet in a blog entry and ask for cauliflower recipes which you'd enjoy. I have a recipe which might need tweaking but which I will look out and see if I can make at some point to offer as an antidote to your caulifloweritis.

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  2. I made my peace with cauliflower over a soup seasoned generously with nutmeg. It's easy-peasy: shall I post it?

    And I found the answer to the brussels sprouts conundrum (for years one of the few things I would not eat, ever), was cutting the little critters into ribbons and sautéing them with bits of pancetta. Now I can eat of bowl of that all by itself! (Thanks to Lucy Waverman for that recipe.)

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    1. Please post - we need more soups than the two bp ones I've contributed. I've always loved sprouts and beets in any form and not even had a problem when the former were boiled to death - the more kitchen sinky the better. And yet, for some reason, cabbage just doesn't do it for me. But in a soup and with nutmeg I imagine it would be great. What have you got in the cauliflower department that might inspire Alex or at leaast change her mind about it?

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    2. Yes please, a cauliflower soup recipe would be excellent! I think it was the texture of cauliflower and broccoli I objected to more than anything, so pureeing it would probably help ;)

      Pancetta always improves any dish - just tonight I made the roast mushroom and sweet potato risotto recipe you posted a few weeks ago (sans the mushrooms unfortunately, since my friend Sal is allergic), and the pancetta made an already delicious recipe even better!

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  3. nice opinion.. thanks for sharing...

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