My good friend Harriet nicknamed this dish. I was writing out a few recipes for her to christen her new kitchen with, when she shouted out ‘GAB CAB!’ with fits of laughter – so now the name has stuck. Since that incident she informed me she got hooked on eating cabbage for about a month. I can think of worse things to get addicted to, but then I am a lover of all things leafy and green.
I call it cabbage stew. It’s a stable dish in our household with it being one of my boyfriend’s favourite things to eat. In his words eating it is equivalent to ‘being hugged’. This recipe is one of my auntie’s many gems that I cook on a regular basis. She is a really great cook and I get a lot of my inspiration from her. She ran a hotel in Turkey for years and is now married to an Italian, so her cooking is very much inspired by the Mediterranean, although she does make a mean pie and mash.
It’s quite a wintery meal, but even though the sun is shining now (sometimes) I’m sure they’ll be a cold, rainy day soon where you can whip this up for some much-needed comfort food.
Another perk is that it is really cheap to make, coming in at under £5 to feed four people (sometimes with leftovers). My boyfriend jokes that it’s what we’ll be feeding our children. Hmmm not sure they’ll like the sound of ‘cabbage stew’ every night of the week.
Ingredients Serves 2
1 Savoy cabbage
4 Cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tube tomato puree
1 Can cannellini beans
1-2 Cups water
150g Basmati rice
Salt and pepper
- Put a good slug of olive oil in a large saucepan. Roughly chop the cabbage up and put into the pan on a moderate heat. Sauté the cabbage until slightly softened then add the garlic, mix and let fry a little.
- Add the cannellini beans and mix. Then add the tomato puree and do the same.
- Add around two cups of water or enough so it just covers the cabbage.
- Season and add the sugar, mix and then turn up the heat.
- Once it comes to a rolling boil turn heat down to low and allow to simmer for 1 – 1 and a half hours. Or until the liquid has soaked up and it has thickened.
- Serve with white rice and a handful of feta crumbled on top of the cabbage.
N.B *If you want to serve 4 people buy a slightly bigger cabbage and add an extra can of cannellini beans. Double the Feta and Rice.