Add a dark shade of purple to your festive table with this cabbage PICTURE: David Loftus
— Serves 8-10

Celebrating one of the most affordable veg out there – the humble red cabbage – this is a really delicious, classic veg dish. Wonderful as it is hot, I also love it cold, almost like a salad, with meat and cheese, so embrace those leftovers.


1 red cabbage (1kg)
4 rashers higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon
olive oil
2 eating apples
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
100g dried prunes
1 clementine
6 tbsp balsamic vinegar


Click away any tatty outer leaves from your cabbage, trim off the base, cut the cabbage into wedges, then finely slice it and put aside. Finely slice the bacon and place in a large casserole pan on a medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Leave it to crisp up while you peel, core and dice the apples.

When the bacon is crispy, strip the rosemary leaves into the pan, stir for 1 minute, then use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and rosemary to a plate, leaving the smoky bacon fat behind. Add the fennel seeds and diced apples to the pan, then tear in the prunes, removing any stones.

Stir and fry for 2 minutes, then finely grate in the clementine zest and squeeze in the juice. Add the vinegar, cabbage and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.

Cook with a lid ajar on a low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through and a pleasure to eat, stirring well every 5 minutes to help intensify and mix up the flavours. Serve sprinkled with the crispy bacon and rosemary leaves.

Get ahead: Make this the day before and simply reheat it in a pan – it’ll taste great, but if you do this I’d recommend stirring the bacon and rosemary through it rather than serving them on top as a garnish.

The Independent