A lot of you have come to know me thanks to this blog, where I write mostly about food. But quite a bit of my professional career has been spent writing about design and style. I’ve actually written six books about design and architecture. And write for all those magazines that focus on pretty things and pretty places. So, saying that the way things looks matters to me is putting it lightly.
So it’s no surprise that every so often, when I’m cooking, the color or the shape of an ingredient will affect the way I treat it, as much as the taste. This happened with a recent head of red cabbage I bought at the farmer’s market.
I’m not sure why they call it red, since it really is purple. And purple was the direction I went. I just couldn’t leave the purple zone when thinking up ways to cook it. I was going to serve it as a side dish, with stewed rabbit. So slightly sweet and tangy seemed right.
Red onion. Again, they are purple. Why are they called red? And some dried cranberries I picked up in Turkey. (more pink than purple). And finally, a mixture of pomegranate molasses and balsamic vinegar to finish it off. Deep purple.
Purple purple purple. I even used some Himalayan salt, since it was pink, a lighter shade of purple. I believe that color affects the way we perceive taste. If something looks brown, it’s going to taste brown, right? And green tastes green. So I think that if you stay in color groups sometimes, you are bound to hit the right notes.
1 red onion
1 small head of red cabbage
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped roasted almonds
salt and pepper
Cut onion in half, and cut into 1/4 inch slices.
Cut cabbage in quarters, core, and slice into 1/2 inch ribbons.
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. When hot, add onions. Let cook over medium heat, until they start to brown on edges. Add the cabbage, and salt. Stir and add about a 1/4 cup of water and cook until it is tender. About 12 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook a bit, to soften.
Mix the balsamic vinegar and molasses, and add to pan. Cook at high heat, glazing the cabbage. Turn off heat, add almonds, and toss. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Serve.