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Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apple

January 31, 2013

Snippet of conversation in which I was a participant:

-There’s something funny about this red cabbage.

-It’s not funny. It’s cooked.

-Why would you cook cole slaw?

-It’s not cole slaw.

-I don’t know why you cooked the red cabbage.

Yes, dear readers, I have been known to do something out of the normal bounds. I have a tendency to rock the boat. Like cook red cabbage. I know. I know. The typical red cabbage that appears on our family table is a slaw simply dressed with vinegar and a bit of sugar. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s quite good, actually. Especially with brisket. Do I detect some head-nodding out there? I thought so.

But the weather’s a bit chilly and I felt like cooking my cabbage. With an apple. It’s a very popular German side dish. Goes well with roast chicken. Not particularly earth-shaking. But you’d be surprised. It stirred things up a bit.

red cabbage

Celery seed is under-appreciated. It has natural sodium. Rub it between your palms as you sprinkle it on. Great with egg salad. I used it here as a flavor boost. No need to use as much salt when there’s celery seed in the dish.celery seed

Juice a blood orange, if you have one around. And it’s a good idea to keep a few around when they’re in season.

blood orange

red cabbage for sauteing

red cabbage and apples

It’s sweet and sour.

It’s red cabbage.

It’s cooked.

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apple


1 small red cabbage, cut in half, core removed and thinly sliced
2 T. safflower/canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tart apple, peeled and thinly sliced (grating works well too)
1 small blood orange, juiced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 T. cider vinegar
2 t. sugar
1/2 t. celery seed
1/2 c. red wine (white wine can be substituted)
salt and pepper to taste


Remove outer leaves and cut cabbage in four pieces through the core. Cut away the core and shred the cabbage.

Thinly slice (or grate) the apple and mix with lemon juice.

Heat large skillet (with lid) and heat oil. Add chopped onion and saute for 3 minutes.

Add cabbage and apples in small batches, stirring as you go, until all the cabbage is in the pan.

Add juices, vinegar, wine, sugar, salt, pepper and celery seed. Mix well. Cook until cabbage is very soft, about 20 minutes.

Serves 4 – can be eaten hot or cold.

Optional: Add 2 T. raisins to the mix. Can omit orange juice and add another teaspoon sugar if needed.


From → Sides, Veggies

  1. Jean permalink

    Judy, you are a cook after my own heart. I’ve been making a variation of this recipe for years. Now I will try yours with blood orange juice. It will probably be even better.

  2. Lynn Stevens permalink

    Judy – I think we have a psychic connection! I bought a red cabbage the other day, intending to cook it sweet and sour – similar to your recipe except I use apples and craisins. I have guests coming for dinner tomorrow, but one person need to avoid onions. Do you think I can omit that?

    • Hi Lynn- you can absolutely omit the onions! We love onions and and I just use them a lot… I love the craisins touch – they have added sugar so you may only need a pinch of sugar -try the taste taste and let me know- happy cooking-J

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