Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cabbage: Not just for coleslaw any more

I'm home writing (er...blogging, at the moment, and perhaps there was some online holiday shopping)...but I have to eat, right? So I whipped up these quesadillas, with sauerkraut from Small World Bakery, artisanal cheese and cabbage from the Public Market, and apples from Donovan Orchards. (We get a box of apples throughout the winter from Donovan's, which is about the only local fruit you can find around here in the winter. They harvest them in the fall and keep them in storage and parcel them out to the Winter Apple Club members.)

Place a tortilla in a cast-iron (or other) skillet set on low. Add a couple of spoonfuls of sauerkraut, some apple slices, and some grated cheese. (Measuring--who needs it?) Fold the tortilla in half, let warm for a minute or so. Then carefully flip to warm the other side. Cut into wedges and eat. 1 apple, approximately 3-4 ounces of cheese, and about 2/3 of a pint jar of sauerkraut made 5 quesadillas today. I originally saw this recipe in a cookbook, but I can't recall which one. It's so simple that I've been making it ever since.

Ironically, I made these quesadillas because I wanted something different than the cabbage lasagne that was leftover from the weekend. Um...they're both basically just cabbage, cheese, and some kind of fruit. Oh, well, they actually taste very different. Here's how you make the cabbage lasagne.

I've never made this the same way twice. All you need are tomatoes and/or sauce, cabbage, and cheese. I've used fresh tomatoes as well as canned tomatoes, and this time I used my own canned tomato sauce. I've used every kind of cheese imaginable; I went for a chevre/feta combo this time. (My goat cheese is from Lively Run Goat Dairy. )

Blanch the cabbage leaves until tender but not totally limp. Add some sauce to the bottom of the lasagne pan to moisten the bottom, then make layers of cabbage/cheese/sauce. Repeat until you're out of ingredients. End with a little cheese or even fake Parmesan. You could also sprinkle on some dried herbs, or maybe some roasted peppers. Hey, I just thought of the roasted peppers. I canned some this summer so those will be my next experiment! (Vegans, I'm pretty sure this would work well with soy cheese as well, or maybe your own homemade vegan cheese. The cookbook Veganomicon has some good substitutes that I've used in regular pasta lasagne.)

The cabbage lasagne recipe is from Ed Espe Brown's book Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings, which was the first cookbook I read that encouraged me to experiment and improvise. I've been doing so ever since. (I also googled cabbage lasagne and found lots of recipes. But trust me, you really don't need a recipe for this.)

Someday I will learn to take better food photos. It's item #175 on my list of "Things to Do after I Complete the Dissertation."

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