It's only a few weeks since I shared cole slaw with you. Is it too early for another cabbage recipe? Probably, but in these days of austerity we can't afford to waste a single shred of these unforgiving vegetables.
Cabbage has a shocking reputation - school lunch memories are meant to be made of the smell of boiled cabbage - but from what I can see, historically it was rarely inflicted on Scottish stomachs in its boiled state.
Old Scottish recipe books suggest it was more commonly pickled (at which point you would cover the jar with wash leather, brown paper, or a bladder - I leave that thought with you).
Or it was served as brose (with added oatmeal) cooked, with lots of other root veg, in the form of broth or mixed in with other ingredients including potato to make for example, Colcannon or Kailkenny.
My favourite way with cabbage is to stir fry it to within an inch of its life, add a dab of five spice powder, splash on some soy sauce, add some cooked brown rice, and eat. This is a lot less grim than you might think.
But this week's buttery, mustardy fried mixture is very good with casseroles, roasts or sausages
BUTTERY FRIED CABBAGE
- white cabbage
onion, if wished
Generous knob butter (up to 50g, or 2oz, depending on amount of cabbage)
2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
black pepper, salt
Shred the cabbage. Thinly slice the onion if using - it's a tasty addition. Heat the butter in heavy-bottomed pan, and tip in the veg. Stir regularly over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes until cabbage is slightly wilted, but retaining a bit of crunch, and touched with golden colour here and there. Grind in lots of black pepper, a shake of salt, and the mustard. Stir thoroughly. Serve immediately (or keep warm for a while).