Red cabbage and onions are boiled in milk and layered in a baking dish with grated potatoes, grated apples, and prepared polenta and topped off with sharp grated cheese. The whole is baked in the oven until it obtains a golden crust. This creamy and tasty easy healthy recipes dish makes a terrific side dish to pork, lamb, beef, chicken or fish and can also be served as a main dish. This recipe suggests the use of prepared polenta, which can be bought at Italian groceries or specialty stores. This makes it more convenient than making polenta from scratch, which can take quite some time to do. Of course, you can also make polenta from scratch if you have time. It is basically cooked cornmeal seasoned with salt and has a consistency similar to porridge.
The sharp taste of red cabbage is mellowed when cooked in milk and result in a nice pinkish color. Apples give the dish a tangy biter with a hint of sweetness and tartness, while the potatoes add a delectable texture. The sharp cheese forms a thin crust on top of the gratin, for a nice golden color and pleasant flavor that complements the milky cabbage inside. The polenta rounds off the whole easy desserts dish, serving as a base for the cabbage gratin. Over all, this makes quite a filling dish that can be served on its own for lunch or for dinner.
Ingredients: 1 head red cabbage, chopped, 1 onion, diced, 1 1/2 C milk, 1 potato, peeled and grated, 1 apple, grated, 2 C prepared polenta (available at grocery stores and specialty shops), 3 C sharp cheese, grated (old cheddar recommended)
Core and chop the cabbage. Dice the onion. Boil the cabbage for five minutes, then drain off the water. Return cabbage to pot, add the onion and a little butter or cooking oil. Sautee the cabbage and onion, then add the milk. Boil the cabbage and onion in the milk for ten minutes, on high heat, stirring to prevent sticking. Remove cabbage from heat once the liquid is significantly reduced, and set aside. Lightly oil a baking dish. Add prepared polenta to the oiled dish by the spoonful. Top with grated apple and grated potato. Pour cabbage mixture over everything. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Serve hot as a side dish or a light main course, and enjoy.
If you can’t find prepared polenta, you can easily make one at home with just cornmeal, salt and water. Use a thick saucepan, preferably copper for best results. Boil water and add some salt to taste. The ratio of water to cornmeal is about 4:1. You can also use chicken, veal or fish stock to cook the polenta and give it a deeper flavor. In this case, you no longer need to add salt. When boiling, pour the cornmeal gently like a stream and stir with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes or until porridge in consistency, stirring occasionally.