Big red cabbage

Whole cabbages just seem to go on and on for ages and never end. It is like some horrible, boring magic. If you do have a whole red cabbage, ‘slaw’ (as the cool kids seem to call it these days) is your friend. This slaw recipe uses half a cabbage (though somehow there still seems to be a lot of cabbage left). I served the slaw with an Asian-style omelette (recipe a bit further below).

cabbage salad

Winter slaw (serves four as a side)

To make the slaw:

Ingredients: 1/2 a red cabbage, sliced finely; 1 bunch of coriander; 2-3 oranges peeled and chopped into largish chunks.

Combine these ingredients in a bowl. I thought about adding some ginger or spring onion – either would probably be quite nice for some extra zing.

To make the slaw dressing:

Ingredients: Juice of two limes; 1 teaspoon of soy sauce; 1 tablespoon of sesame oil; 3 tablespoons of olive oil; dash of honey (to taste); 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (though I just used chili oil)

Combine and pour over salad. Toast some black sesame seeds in a pan over a low heat. Sprinkle over the top.

Omelette  (should serve 4 but is really a feast for 2)

This is one of those recipes that feels like it won’t work but actually does.

Ingredients: 12 eggs; 2 tablespoons of fish sauce; 2 teaspoons oyster sauce (plus 2 tablespoons extra); handful of coriander; 4 spring onions finely chopped; 1/3 cup olive oil; sesame oil; chives.

Combine eggs, fish sauce and oyster sauce in a bowl or jug. Add coriander and spring onions. Combine a bit more.

Heat a quarter of the oil in a wok. When the oil is hot add a quarter of the egg mixture. Use a slotted spoon to push the cooked mixture inwards repeatedly until the omelette starts to set. Turn temperature to low. Allow to cook for forty seconds, then fold in half and leave for another forty seconds. Remove and keep warm. Repeat three more times until all of the mixture is cooked.

Sprinkle with chives and pour over mixture of oyster sauce and sesame oil.

I borrowed ideas from here and there to come up with this – vegetable omelette (Women’s Weekly Modern Asian Cookbook) and winter slaw (Ottolenghi).

If you still have a lot of red cabbage left you might also like to make fish tacos.

Coping with broccoli

Broccoli attacks are an inevitable part of vegetable co-op life. Broccoli tends to lurk, hiding amongst other friendlier green produce, and then leap out threatening the horrors of broccoli soup.  Thankfully the good people of Southern Italy taught me how to get the better of broccoli with this much loved, very old school pasta recipe.


BeeStore your parmesan cheese wrapped in baking paper.


500 grams of short pasta (I use wholemeal penne)

2 heads of broccoli cut into florets

2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on howmuch you like it!) crushed or finely chopped

1 red chili finely chopped (with seeds)

2 tablespoons of olive oil



Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.

Add pasta and cook as per packet instructions. Add broccoli in the last five minutes of cooking time.

In the meantime heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and soften the chili and garlic.

Drain pasta and broccoli mixture and return to the saucepan. Add the oil, chili and garlic. Season to taste. Combine and serve with grated parmesan.

For a more substantial dish you can toast pine nuts and sprinkle them over the top.

Serves two hungry people!