Cabbage, so often cooked to death, can be deeply satisfying. The trick is to blanch it very briefly in salted water before combining it with other flavorful ingredients; in this case, onions, apples, celery and caraway.
Time: 25 minutes
Salt and pepper
2 pounds green cabbage, cored and cut in 1-inch strips
4 tablespoons butter
3 onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 large tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 or 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
6 scallions, thinly sliced.
1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the cabbage and cook for about 30 seconds, until barely wilted. Drain in a colander under cold running water until cool, and pat dry.
2. In a wide, heavy-bottomed pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, season well with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Turn up the heat and add apples. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, allowing onions and apples to brown a bit, until apples are cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in celery and caraway, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
4. Add cabbage and toss gently. Adjust seasoning and transfer to an oven-proof serving dish. If not serving immediately, keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or refrigerate and bring to room temperature, before heating in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes. To serve, sprinkle with the scallions.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings.