Purple Cabbage

by hilla.kariv on March 13, 2011

purple flowers
A few weeks ago I left home for a few days, and when I came back, everything around me had transformed. I discovered, again, that even though I make a daily effort to pay attention to the cyclicality and beauty of nature, one has to get away to really appreciate the change.

I returned to a world of enchanting purple. Within a few days the naked trees filled up – as if by secret order – purple, out now! The wisteria, the lavender, lots of purple flowers and the beautiful tree in our front yard that I still haven’t been able to identify. Rivers of purple.

purple cabbage
purple cabbage shredded

Maybe that’s why at the market I chose the most purple thing I could find, so the inside would match the outside. The little purple cabbage I chose was quite miraculously surprising; it looked small but had an impressive yield.
For the next few weeks I served it as antipasti, cooked as a side dish, chopped into salads and even pickled in a jar. In between I was enchanted with its colors – ranging from hot pink to dark purple, depending how you make it.
Meanwhile the tree in front of our house forgot it was ever purple and I’m still cooking cabbage, because I’ve discovered it’s not just miraculous but charming too.

Cooked Purple Cabbage

Sweet Cooked Purple Cabbage Recipe

A quick side with glow-in-the-dark coloring that you can find a lot in my house lately.
Eat at any temperature. My favorite is cold with cottage cheese.

1 small purple cabbage
1 apple or pear
¼ cup red or white wine, whatever you have in the house
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons honey
juice from 1 lemon
fresh salt and pepper
a handful of dried cranberries

Split the cabbage in half, remove the tough stem in the center and slice into strips approximately ½ inch/1 cm thick.
Peel, core and cube the apple or pear.
Transfer the cabbage and the apple/pear to a large pot and add the rest of the ingredients, plus ¼ cup of water. Bring to a boil, stir and cover. Cook on medium heat until all the liquids evaporate and the cabbage is soft. I like to scorch the bottom – by continuing to cook for 2 additional minutes after the liquids evaporate – so that my cabbage gets a little caramelized.
Fix seasoning. It should be sweet-salty-sour.

Eat hot, cold or warm. Keeps well.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz May 7, 2011 at 6:34 am

This was delicious and easy to make. Thank you for sharing!


Lee January 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I made this tonight after looking for purple cabbage recipes (I had one I needed to use up); I was skeptical, because I previously thought I really only liked cooked cabbage as an ingredient in stir-fry, or in sauerkraut. This was really tasty, and we’ll definitely be having it again! Thanks for sharing – it definitely is charming :)


Sandra May 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Fantastic recipe! I’ve made this twice, and my hubby & I love it. Made it yesterday for a cookout, and everybody loved it. It’s such a flexible recipe too. I’ve made with apple cider vinegar, instead of wine, as well as one apple & one pear. Yum! Thanks so much for posting it. I’m sharing with my friends. :)


ocgypsy January 4, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Am making it now with a clove of garlic and a Tbsp cider vinegar and a handful of fresh, gushed raspberries…. Smells wonderful in here, thanks for sharing!


mybissim January 6, 2013 at 12:52 am

Thank you for sharing, sounds wonderful!


clara April 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm

trying to remember the name we use to call purple cabbage anyone know what it is?


Rachelle September 19, 2013 at 5:35 pm

This reminds me of the purple cabbage stew my mom would make for me. I keep coming back to this recipe because it is so delicious. It’s cooking for the third time so far as I type this! Thank you for sharing!


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