Last year was, for me, The Year of the Cauliflower. I've never liked the blanket of white sauce it sits beneath in the dreaded, classic cauliflower cheese, nor the combination of said sauce and still-watery florets squeaking against my teeth, but roasting a cauli two years ago changed everything.
This autumn I set out to make 2010 the year I learned to tolerate, maybe even like, cabbage. I didn't think I'd actually learn to love cabbage, but that's what seems to have happened, and I count that as a resounding success. Kathryn had mentioned brining cabbage at some stage in conversation and I trust her implicitly in matters Cabbage, so jotted it down. Salt - and there's a lot of salt used here, most of which, fear not, dissolves away - draws liquid from the cabbage (or radishes, or carrots...you get the idea) making it easier to digest. Which was, ya know, the problem cabbage and I had.
Typically, Kathryn was right. Exceptionally good. Mine is taken, mostly, from Mark Bittman.
Take half a head of a small cabbage - all are good here - halve it again, discard the core, and slice the rest. Finely looks neat, but who's got all day? Chop as you see fit. Toss the cabbage in a shallow bowl with 1 tablespoon each of sea salt, mirin, and rice vinegar. Press a plate on top, weight it down with something heavy - 3 or 4 tins of tomatoes, a heavy mortar - and leave for 1 hour. A little longer won't hurt, especially if you've cut lazily. Drain in a colander, shake over the sink then quickly pop it back into the bowl. No rinsing please.
Toss the wilted cabbage with anything you like. Chopped parsley, tahini, more mirin, a little sesame oil and some pink-pickled ginger are good. Eat.