JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lady Diana Cooper's spiced cabbage

Last week I met a cheesemaker, Mary Quicke, famous on at least three continents amongst lovers of properly made Cheddar. We talked about a presentation she had to give (I think she's probably given it by now) at a gathering of West Country "food heroes". Her general gist was that being labelled a food hero made her feel uncomfortable, and that she subscribed to the slow food movement's idea that the eating of good food is a community of interest, and that the consumer is as much a co-producer as the farmer or the cook. (This beguiling idea has made me decide to join.)

There's a bit of me that agrees with Mary ... on the other hand, I do have one or two food heroes, and one of them is the source of this recipe, Guy Watson, the man behind Riverford organic vegetable boxes. A food hero if ever there was one. To me, and probably countless others. Even if it turns out that he, too, dislikes the title. And I very much like the idea that I am a co-producer at Riverford ... even if it is baloney.

This recipe came with this week's box. There wasn't a cabbage in mine, so I bought one at the market. I wanted to make it because I found it rather hard to imagine the socialite and glamorous Diana Cooper eating cabbage, let alone having a recipe for it.

Diana Cooper's Spiced Cabbage

1/2 a white cabbage, shredded (or use a whole January King)
4 tbsp sesame oil
one small onion, chopped
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
good pinch of caraway seed

Heat the oil in a large pan, and gently fry the onion and caraway. As it starts to brown, add the cabbage. Cook as if it was a stir fry - keep it moving, and when it's done to your liking, add the vinegar and salt to taste.

We ate this with our Sunday roast pork. Lovely. But I still can't imagine Lady Diana Cooper eating such a peasant dish.


David Hall said...

Spiced cabbage is one of life's treats, if only I was fed this as a child and it might have taken me less than 20 years to love cabbage! I'm still to do that delicious pork and plums dish, I better hurry up, when I do I'm going to serve it with this.


Riana Lagarde said...

I love cabbage like this too. I would love to make cheddar...oh, how would I love that? That is something that I really miss here.

Michelle said...

I'm falling in love with cabbage, I think. It's so tasty in so many different forms! I think this might have to be my next go at it...

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I like the simple sound of this and the ease that it must come together. I think I'd like it very much. Caraway, I've always enjoyed.

Cottage Smallholder said...

Danny loves cabbage. I'm a bit on the fence about it. I'm going to try your recipe tonight as a treat for him when he gets back from London. I think that I'll love it too. Thanks.