Jan 14, 2014

Red cabbage risotto

The most popular risotto this season in my house...

Recipe be Gray Apron
time: 40 minutes

2 cups brown rice, pre-soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
500 g (about 1 lb) red cabbage (1/2 medium head), loose leaves removed
1 3/4 teaspoons salt, quantity divided
1 1/2 l (about 6 cups) water, quantity divided 
1/2 teaspoon dry rosemary
1 medium onion, chopped
5 Tablespoon olive oil, quantity divided 
50 g (about 2 oz) Parmesan, grated
50 g  (about 3 Tablespoons) butter, diced
zest from 1/2 medium lemon, grated


Prepare cabbage: split cabbage in two halves, remove core and using a big knife, shred it as thin as you can. On a large skillet, heat oil on medium/high. Add 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil, add cabbage and rosemary. Cook for about 30 minutes on medium heat, mixing occasionally and adding hot water if it becomes too dry, till cabbage is tender but not overcooked. Half way through cooking, add 3/4 teaspoon salt. 

Meanwhile...prepare rice/risotto: In a medium pot, bring water to boil and add a teaspoon of salt. In a large skillet or pot, heat 2 Tablespoons oil on medium heat. Add onions and sauté for about 10 minutes (not allowing any color change). Add rice and toast it for about 5 minutes, mixing constantly. Add a cup of boiling, salted water. Let the rice absorb all the liquid, add more water (about 1/2 cup each time)...and so on, mixing the rice quite often.

After about 30 minutes (the rice should be about 5-10 minutes before being ready), add in cooked cabbage. Keep stirring, adding more hot water if risotto becomes too dry, for another 5-10 minutes. Take if off the heat, mix in Parmesan, butter and lemon zest. Adjust seasoning and serve.
  • I've tried different methods of preparing this risotto; cooking cabbage and rice separately worked the best;
  • I get more control over the timing of the ingredients;
  • only lately, I've been making risottos with brown rice; 
  • by itself, brown rice is not favorite thing, but here, it didn't really bother me;
  • it did require a little more cooking, but pre-soaking it cut that time significantly (from 50 to 35 minutes);
  • red cabbage...if you haven't tried it before...it taste nothing like the white one, which can be quite annoying;
  • after cooking (not overcooking), the red one stays tasty and pleasantly sweet;
  • lemon zest and rosemary perfectly complemented the sweetness of the vegetable;
  • I thought about adding raisins...but Julian and Hania were against it.


  1. I love your original ideas and this risotto is just smashing!

  2. Dear Elzbieta, Healthy and delicious! Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  3. I would love this risotto! What a gorgeous color!

  4. I agree with Liz. This is such a gorgeous color. And red cabbage is one of my favorite vegetables. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Red cabbage is a favourite... thank you for sharing xo

  6. I love it! Healthy and delicious!

  7. Such a tastefrul and colorful dish!
    Have a nice day,dear Ela!

  8. I too love this nutritious winter cabbage! Your risotto looks very tasty.

  9. I love how colourful this it! You have some amazing ideas Ela :)

  10. This risotto looks so pretty with the red cabbage Ela, what a nice and tasty dish :)

  11. The color of this dish is phenomenal! The purple with the yellow lemon zest - it's so darn pretty! And it sounds delicious too - I don't use cabbage enough in my kitchen!

  12. I love the color, so pretty! Risotto is delicious, I bet this is a dish I would really like!

  13. This risotto looks great, and it's a new thing for me with red cabbage. I like to try it, coz I love red cabbage. Why do you use salted water and not chicken broth, as Italians do? You may be vegetarian, but I haven't gone through your blog yet, sorry.
    Greetings from Chiang Mai

    1. Hi, no, not vegetarian. I just never seem to have good broth at hand. :)