Irene's Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

The other day I wandered into this lovely book in the library... Cooking with Italian Grandmothers... from Tuscany to Sicily. As the title suggests, the book is a collection of time-honored Italian recipes by Italian Nonnas. In the foreword, Jessica Theoroux describes her book as one about women, food and listening.  As a young chef, she had spent a year travelling around Italy, learning from Italian mothers and grandmothers all about their food, culture and life in general. In her book, she dedicates a chapter to each of the twelve Italian women with whom she spent a considerable time, and shares the recipes that she learnt from them. While each story and recipe has a charm and flavor of its own, the ones I was instantly attracted to, were by Irene of Piedmontese, Bra. Her recipes looked earthy yet intriguing and her approach towards cooking and life in general resonated with the idea that I constantly try to imbibe in our life... "welcome whatever arrives, .. then listen closely and nourish well." 

One of the first dishes that I tried from Irene's menu was her Sweet 'n' Sour Red Cabbage. Apparently, "Irene is known far and wide for her wine-flavored red cabbage.." and once I tried it, I knew the reason why.  Simmered with red wine, apples and caramelized red onions, her slow cooked red cabbage is by far one of the tastiest cabbage sides I have ever tasted. 'The dish makes use of one's leftover wine', and compliments a meal of meat and/or lentils wonderfully....

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage (Cavolo Rosso)

Prep time: 10 minutes                     Cook time: 55 minutes                           Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Serves : 2

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sized red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 thick clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 pound of red cabbage, shredded (I used half of a medium sized cabbage)
  • 1 small sweet apple, cut into thin wedges (I used red delicious apple)
  • ¼ cup + 2tbsps red wine
  • ½ + ⅛ tsp salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat the oil in a medium sized pan.
  2. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook till it softens a bit and turns golden, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, then the cabbage and apple and stir well to combine.
  4. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes until the cabbage and apple begins to caramelize.
  5. Add the red wine and salt and bring it to a simmer. Then cover the pan and stirring occasionally, cook for 45 minutes.
  6. Know that the cabbage and apple are done when they are tender through but still holding their form.

I shall be sharing this at the following parties..


  1. wow very delicious red cabbages,I love it

  2. Sounds like a great cookbook. I vaguely remember eating something like this as a kid... it is very Italian, not Italian-American. Can't wait to try it and jog my memorie. Pinning.

  3. My family enjoys braised red cabbage. I usually use red wine vinegar, but will have to try your version next time. A little wine never hurt anyone. Thanks for sharing these at the Let's Get Real Friday Link Party. I hope you'll join us again this week.

  4. This looks really good! I would love to have you share this on my linky party -What's for Dinner!

  5. Looks really healthy and yummy!! Gonna try this soon.


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Take care and come back soon.
Best, Tanusree

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