White Beans and Cabbage

White Beans and Cabbage topped with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

This is a recipe I modified from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day cook book. I highly recommend making the Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes to add at the end. They add a lot of flavor to the dish. I recommend using bacon ends as they’re cheaper. I’ve used pinto beans, but really any bean you favor will likely be good in this recipe.

8 oz. bacon ends, chopped
Oil leftover from making the oven roasted cherry tomatoes or olive oil
4 oz.  potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed, and cut into tiny cubes
Kosher or sea salt
2 cloves minced garlic
Corn cut from 2 uncooked cobs of corn (optional)
1 large shallot (or onion) thinly sliced
2 cups cooked and cooled white beans or 1 15 oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups (8 oz.) finely shredded green cabbage
Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (optional but so very good!)
Parmesan cheese, for grating over the finished dish

Place a large pot over medium heat and cook the bacon ends (lower the heat if they are cooking to quickly/burning).
Once the bacon ends are cooked remove them from the pot and set aside.
Increase heat on pot to medium-high.
There should be no more than 2 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat in the pot, but if there is less than 2 tablespoons then add either some of the leftover juice/oil from making the oven roasted cherry tomatoes or some olive oil.
Add the potatoes to the pot and a pinch of salt and cook until cooked through (5 to 8 minutes), scraping the pan and tossing the potatoes once or twice to lightly brown all over.
After the potatoes have been cooking for approximately 3 minutes add the garlic.
Once potatoes are cooked stir in the corn (optional), shallot, and the beans.
Cook the beans in a single layer for a couple minutes allowing them to brown a bit, then scrape up and toss around and cook an additional couple of minutes.
Stir in the cabbage and cook for a minute or two, until the cabbage begins to wilt.
Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and the optional cherry tomatoes.

Serves 4

Lactic Fermented Coleslaw

This is a great way to have coleslaw ready for those family picnics … without the hassle of canning. The recipe comes from D. Mary, in Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning (Chelsea Green). The book contains recipes from the French farmers of the Terre Vivante collective. Note that this recipe is not for precision kitchen chemists.

2 pounds white cabbage (I used red, it tasted just fine)
2 large carrots
2 large onions
black peppercorns
juniper berries
bay leaves
spring water*
sea salt
1-quart sterilized canning jar

Finely grate the vegetables; a food processor is excellent for this.
Combine the vegetables well (stir/toss so they are well-mixed).
In the bottom of the jar, drop a few peppercorns, juniper berries and bay leaves.
Add two handfuls of the veggie mix and pack down firmly.
Sprinkle with salt; add a few more bay leaves, peppercorns and juniper berries.
Continue making layers like this until there is just three-quarters to one-half inch of space left at the top of the jar.
Top off with one last layer of spices and salt.
Pack down one last time.

If the veggies are not covered with liquid, add a small amount of brine made with the spring water and salt (2 tablespoons of salt per quart of spring water).
Close and seal the jar.

Let the jar sit in the kitchen for a few days to start the fermentation process. A towel under the jar will catch any liquid that bubbles out as the fermenting begins.
Move the jar to a cool place to finish.

The salad can be eaten after 10 days, but will be crunchy.
Once the jar has been opened, be sure to store in the refrigerator and pack the ingredients down before reclosing the jar.
Storing the coleslaw in the refrigerator will slow the fermentation process.

Other information
*Do not use tap water. Tap water contains chlorine and inhibits lactic fermentation.
Lactic fermented veggies are best eaten raw, and in small quantities. They help with digestion and in maintaining a healthy gut environment.
Traditional lactic fermentation such as in this recipe creates an acidic environment in which spoilage is rare. The USDA recommends hot water canning of fermented foods to avoid spoilage.
You can rinse some of the saltiness from the coleslaw without losing the flavor or nutrition benefits.

Bubble and Squeak

This British dish is said to have been named after the sounds that the potato and cabbage mixture makes as it fries.

1 lb russet (baking) potatoes – peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lb Savoy cabbage – cored and thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cover potatoes with cold salted water by 1 inch and bring to a boil.
Boil, uncovered, until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 18 minutes.
Drain in a colander.

Heat butter in a 10-inch heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides.
Sauté cabbage with salt and pepper, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add potatoes, mashing and stirring them into cabbage while leaving some lumps and pressing to form a cake.
Cook, without stirring, until underside is crusty and golden, about 10 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Makes 4 side-dish servings.