Passionate Chefs Build Community

As mentioned in the last post, one core ingredient at the heart of our success comes from the many chefs and community cooks who facilitate cooking classes at A Taste of Nourish.  It's really their dedication and continuous support which enable us to grow food skills and build community.  This post is a first in a series designed to highlight the many passionate chefs who are part of our Nourish team.

One of these chefs is Amanda Harrison.  She caught the culinary fever while working at Peterborough's own Hot Belly Mama's restaurant.  Her passion for cooking took her to Toronto to attend Chef's School at George Brown College.  Amanda now teaches cooking classes and volunteers with the Nourish Project. Amanda loves finding delicious ways to integrate local ingredients in easy-to-make dishes.  She shares here one of her recipes for a beautiful, and yet often devalued vegetable:  red cabbage.

cabbage 01 'a-maze-in' red cabbage design

Red cabbage is economical at any time of the year, stores well and is packed with health benefits.  It is a great source of insoluble fiber and vitamin C.  As a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, red cabbage contains antioxidants that have been linked to lowering inflammation and helping to repair cell damage from carcinogens.

This slowly cooked red cabbage dish is slightly sweet with a bit of tangy crunch.  It is a new favourite in our house.  You can garnish it with fresh dill right before serving to highlight the sweet and sour taste.  This is also excellent with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, or even better, feta cheese.

You can serve this with any of your favourite comfort foods.  I'm thinking perogies or rice pilaf, pan seared pork chops or sausages.  This would also be delicious with vegetarian stuffed peppers or zucchinis, or with a savoury spinach and feta pastry.  Don't forget the pickles and sour cream!

cabbage 02

1 head of red cabbage
1 red onion
2 crisp red apples
¼ cup water
¼ cup white vinegar
½ cup apple sauce
¼ cup dill

1) Preheat the oven to 325 F. Using a large, sharp chef knife, cut the cabbage into quarters. Remove the white core from each quarter. Cut each quarter into smaller, workable sections, and then thinly slice. Add the slices to a large, lasagna style casserole dish.
2) Slice away the root end of the onion, and cut in half. Peel away the outer papery layers, and discard. Thinly slice the onion and add to the pan. Add the water and vinegar; cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil. Cook in the oven for half an hour.
3) Check on the cabbage occasionally and make sure it is still moist. If it is drying out from the heat, add a bit more water.
4) Wash the apples and slice in half, length-wise. Cut into quarters and remove the core. Thinly slice and add to the pan. Stir in the apple sauce, replace the cover and continue to cook for another half an hour, or until all the ingredients are soft. Garnish with chopped dill and serve.

cabbage 03