Chou en purée

Cabbage purée

This surprisingly sophisticated side dish is ridiculously simple to make. Cabbage and potato are boiled together and puréed in a blender. Cream, salt, freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated nutmeg are added, and your dish is ready.

You can use either white cabbage or crinkly green Savoy cabbage to make the purée. The white will produce a purée that looks much like mashed potatoes, while the Savoy version will be very pale green with flecks of darker green. Both are lovely to behold.

Getting the proportions right is not exactly rocket science — more potato will produce a thicker purée, while more cabbage will produce a lighter dish. If you’d like to be more precise, you can weigh the cabbage and then use 1/3 of that weight of potatoes. So if half a cabbage weighs about a pound (450 grams), use 5-6 ounces (150 grams) of potatoes.

Serve the purée alongside roast meat or poultry. It is special enough to accompany a holiday roast — turkey, goose or beef, for example. It also marries well with fish, particularly salmon in my opinion, and can easily be integrated into a vegetarian meal, paired perhaps with herbed sweet potatoes or potato pancakes and a watercress salad.

The quantities below will serve 2-3 people. For a larger crowd, use a whole cabbage and double the recipe.

1-1/2 quart (liter) water
1 tbsp. sea salt
1 medium potato
1/2 head white or Savoy cabbage
2 tbps. creme fraiche or heavy cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg

Bring the water and sea salt to a boil in a large pot. While the water is heating, peel and cube the potatoes. Add.

Cut the half-cabbage in half, remove the core and slice into strips. When the water is merrily boiling, add the cabbage.

Cook for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes and cabbage are tender. Drain through a colander.

Purée using a hand-held or counter-top blender. Transfer to a bowl.

Stir in the cream, add salt to taste and grind on some black pepper. Grate some nutmeg over the bowl. (Go easy on the nutmeg — a little goes a long way).

Reheat gently before serving. Serves 2-3.

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