Red cabbage is one of my favourite fall vegetables. I really love its deep dark purple colour with the slight sweetness, crunchy texture and all its health benefits. In my family the cabbage, made sweet with caramelized apples and raisins, is a traditional side for roasted duck accompanied with peppered potatoes fried with onions. It brings back many holiday memories of wonderful moments of the family sitting at the dinner table. This might explain why baking with red cabbage makes me excited for Christmas already. This time I want to share a less traditional red cabbage dish with you. I hope you will love it as much as we do, as it is easy, cheap, healthy you can make it ahead, and of course, it is full of taste.
The natural sweetness of the red cabbage and the caramelized onions compliment the sharpness of the blue cheese that makes this dish a rich and festive vegetarian dinner. Serve it with some tossed salad to make it a complete light dinner. If you would prefer a milder cheese then use soft goat cheese, it is also a perfect combination but much easier in taste.
I made the crust with rice flour which I use a lot because it is an inexpensive gluten free four. It has a light taste and gives pastries a nice dry, crumbly texture. It`s a bit harder to bake with compared to wheat flour, but with the large egg added, it formed a smooth dough and made a delicious crispy golden brown crust. I would recommend you to try it, but in case you don`t feel like experimenting with a new flour, the traditional wheat flour would work just as well.
Ingredients (for 4 person)
- 120 grams rice flour (or plain wheat flour)
- 60 grams of butter (on room temperature)
- 1 egg (large)
- ½ teaspoon salt
(plus some extra butter and flour for greasing and dusting)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions
- ½ red cabbage (around 500 grams)
- 3 eggs
- 100 mililitre milk
- 1 generous teaspoon of dried thyme or half a bunch of fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 100 grams of blue cheese
To make the dough for the crust, first crumble flour and butter together with your finger, removing all the big lumps. Then add the egg and continue with either your hand or with a fork. Lightly grease a 19 centimetre oven dish with the butter and dust with flour. Cover the bottom of the pie form with the dough and push it on the sides as well until you have about a 4 centimeter high rim. (You can use a bigger oven dish as well, then the rim will be lower and the pie will be a bit flatter). Set it in the fridge to rest for about half an hour.
In the meantime make the filling. Halve and slice onions. In a non-stick skillet heat the olive oil on medium-low fire, add onions and, stirring occasionally, braise for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Reduce heat if you see that they are burning.
Cut cabbage in four, remove stems and chop it into to about half centimetre slices. When the onions are done remove them from the pan, add some more oil if needed and tip cabbage into the pot. On medium fire stir cabbage for a few minutes then reduce fire, cover the pot and let it braise for a few more minutes. It doesn`t have to be completely soft at this point because it will be baked in the oven as well.
Preheat oven to 180 Celsius, and pre bake the crust in 10 minutes.
Remove cabbage from the fire and let it cool down slightly. In a mixing bowl mix eggs, milk, thyme, salt, pepper, half of the caramelized onion, cabbage and crumble 1/3 of the blue cheese into the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the pie crust and gently push down so that there are no pieces of cabbages poking out (it does not have to be completely smooth though). Bake for 40 minutes, then sprinkle with the remaining onions and cheese and bake for 10 more minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting up, so that it’s not falling apart. It might still be hard to slice, try using a god sharp knife.