I was first introduced to picked red cabbage with a dear friend I worked with downtown. We would go to the food trucks during lunch. We were hooked when Clover came to town. It was their chickpea fritter sandwich for sure that hooked me on pickled red cabbage.
I was traveling last weekend – wanted to go see the ever so talked about sunflower fields at Colby Farms in Newbury, but they closed them down early. Instead of turning around and going home, I was curious to see what their little market had to offer. I hit the jackpot. Fresh vegetables just the way I liked them – full and abundant. From the fresh asparagus, which you could pick just the amount you wanted to. the packed lettuce (arugula, romaine, and spinach). I also came upon this massive red cabbage. All I could think of at that moment was the chickpea fritter sandwich at Clover.
Imagine eight of these. I had to cut the cabbage head into eight sections in order to shred it on my mandolin, it was so big.
As I continued through the store, I happened upon the refrigerated items. They carried applewood smoked bacon. Another one of my favorites. This brought to mind the BLT on ciabatta from the original Flour Bakery in Downtown Boston. My goodness – it was all coming back to me. All the great eateries – oh boy! This is something I really miss. (TIP: When cooking bacon, use parchment paper for a lining on a cookie sheet – this way you have no mess to clean up and pans to scrub).
Back to the cabbage: When I picked up the massive red cabbage, I said, “I could make pickled red cabbage and have all the chickpea fritter sandwiches I want, and I don’t have to go to Clover. Well, once I got it home, I realized how massive it was and wondered what I was going to do with the other three quarters of the cabbage since the recipe I had for pickling called for only one cup of sliced red cabbage. Well, I had to think quick since I needed to film a Facebook Live video for the launch of my friends Virtual Pampered Chef Party. I quickly looked to see if I had a recipe for a red cabbage slaw. I figured this would go well on a BLT.
So there it was. I had about 11 cups of red cabbage once I shredded it. This is what I did:
For the red cabbage slaw, I combined what I judged to be one small head red cabbage (approximately 7 cups of shredded cabbage), 3 large carrots, shredded, 1/2 large onion (thinly sliced) with a vinaigrette that consisted of the following: 2 tablespoons dijon mustard, 2 garlic cloves (minced), 1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 4 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1/4 tsp of red cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste
Then it was time for the Picked Cabbage. This is what I did:
I placed the remaining 4 cups of cabbage in a mixing bowl. I boiled 3 cups of hot water, poured that over the cabbage. Let it sit for about 5 minutes (this blanches the cabbage – its almost like a reverse canning process). Normally you would pour the hot water in the canning jar and let the cabbage ferment over night). I added 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt to a mixing bowl. In a separate container, I measured 1/4 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 white distilled vinegar). You can use rice wine vinegar too. I added peppercorns to the bottom of a mason jar. After mixing the ingredients together in the bowl, I transferred the. mixture into the mason jar. Then, I constructed a BLT my way!!
Here is the BLT:
Started with an almond tortilla wrap – heated up in toaster oven until just lightly toasted. Base is arugula, sliced garden tomato, red cabbage slaw, applewood smoked bacon. I could have added some mayo, but it wasn’t really needed.