Red cabbage
28th November 2018

Red cabbage, Dutch style

By MaitreMarcel

I really love to live in France, here near the Pyrenees. But come winter, there are some hearty Dutch dishes I like to make and eat. So, when we saw red cabbage on the market, we took it home.
There are many national cuisines that include red cabbage. In France there are recipes with cabbage, butter, melted cheese and lard that accompany roast feathered game like pheasant.
The Dutch version uses more spices than in other countries, a throwback to the colonial times and when the Dutch VOC company traded in spices in the Golden Ages.
Here, we use cloves and cinnamon, sugar and bay leaf. The sweetness of the sugar, and slightly from the apple, and the sourness of vinegar create a ‘sweet-sour’ contrast that works well. I served with pork scallops and cooked potatoes.

Ingredients (for two)

  • A small red cabbage
  • One onion
  • Two apples
  • One bay leave
  • Two cloves
  • One tbs of cinnamon
  • Four tbs of brown sugar
  • Two tbs of (wine) vinegar
  • Some water (or stock)
  • One tbs of rice
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Peel the outer leaves from the cabbage, wash it clean and slice it in two or four lengthwise to remove the stem. Then chop the cabbage finely, with a large knife or in a food processor.
  2. Chop the peeled onion.
  3. Peel the apples, quarter them and remove the cores, then slice finely
  4. Put it together in a large pan with a thick bottom, stainless-steel or ceramic.
  5. Add the cloves and bay leaf, cinnamon and sugar.
  6. Add the vinegar and some water, just to have the bottom covered. I had left-over stock and used that.
  7. Add some salt and a few twists of the (white) pepper mill.
  8. Cook on moderate heat for 20 minutes, keep the lid on so that the moist will not escape. Stir occasionally (with plastic or wooden spoons).
  9. After this period add the rice, stir and cook for another 20 minutes without the lid.
  10. Remove the bayleaf and any cloves you can find.