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Red cabbage Red cabbage drawing

Red cabbage - you may call me Brassica oleracea var Capitata F. rubra. My friends use a more informal nomenclature: purple cabbage, red kraut or blue kraut.

I am beautiful as well as useful and I put my cousin, the green cabbage, to shame.

When cooked, I turn blue but you can retain my red colour if you add a dash of vinegar or an acidic fruit like lemon to the pot.

Modesty is not one of my virtues. I am simply the best. I have 10 times more vitamin A and twice as much iron as the green cabbage. And on top of this, my juice can be used as a homemade pH indicator - red in acid solutions and green/yellow in alkaline solutions.

I won't continue listing my truly amazing attributes (even though I could go on and on - there are just so many wonderful things I can do) but offer you instead a simple recipe.

Gregor's red cabbage pickle

1 medium/large red cabbage
2 tbsp salt
2 litres apple cider or any other good quality vinegar, approximately
6 tbsp pickling spice

Cut the cabbage into thin strips and layer in a non-metal dish, sprinkling salt between layers. Leave overnight with a weight on top. Wash salt from cabbage and drain well. Heat vinegar and pickling spices. Pack cabbage into sterilised jars and cover with pickling liquid. Seal well. Leave for 1-4 months before eating.

Gregor Sutherland
Denmark WA