Balsamic Cabbage + Sausages

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Balsamic Cabbage + Sausages-2

Balsamic Cabbage + Sausages

Balsamic vinegar is such as magical ingredient. Especially with these sausages and cabbage.

I love how it adds sweetness and brightening acidity and beautiful depth of flavour from the one little bottle.

Better than a genie!

I have two types of balsamic in the pantry. An everyday one which has been aged for about 5 years. And a super expensive 25-year-old that I save for very special occasions.

This recipe is best with your everyday balsamic. Something with a little sweetness but not over-the-top syrupy.

I’ve used pork and fennel sausages because I love the extra flavour boost. But any good quality sausage will work.

The crispy sage leaves aren’t something I normally bother with for weeknight dinners.

But they do elevate this to a seriously restaurant-quality meal, so I’ve included them for those days when you have a few more minutes (and mental bandwidth).

But it’s still an amazing dish without it!

Enough for: 2
Takes: 30 minutes
Net Carbs: 23g/serve

small bunch sage (optional)
4 sausages
1/2 large or 1 small cabbage (approx 600g / 21oz)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
100g (3.5oz) feta, crumbled
small bunch parsley, leaves picked

1. If you’re using the sage, heat a few tablespoons oil in a large saucepan on a medium high heat. Add sage leaves and fry for 1-2 minutes or until the leaves are crispy. Drain them on paper towel.

2. Cut sausage skins down one side. Remove and discard the skins. Pile the sausage meat into the pan and cook uncovered, stirring to break up the sausage into bite sized chunks.

3. Slice cabbage into ribbons as finely as you can be bothered (the thicker the longer it will take to cook). When the sausages are well browned and cooked through, add the cabbage and 1/4 cup water. Reduce heat to medium and cook covered for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes until the cabbage is soft. If it starts to burn, add a splash more water, reduce the heat and stir vigorously.

4. When the cabbage is soft remove from the heat. The water should have evaporated. If it hasn’t, cook for another minute or two with the lid off.

5. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and feta. Taste and season with salt and more vinegar, if needed. Toss in parsley leaves.

6. Divide cabbage between two bowls and top with crispy sage leaves (if using).

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WINE MATCH: A light red like a Pinot Noir or Sangiovese.

Variations & Substitutions

short on time – skip the sage. And you can cook the sausages and cabbage at the same time in two different pots.

keto / ultra low carb – replace cabbage with spinach and replace balsamic with red wine vinegar.

vegetarian – use cooked lentils or beans instead of the sausages – just add the cooked legumes with the feta. Sliced mushrooms would be an amazing sausage replacement.

dairy-free – just skip the feta. Or replace it with olives, capers, sun dried tomatoes or drained preserved artichokes. Roast salted almonds or walnuts are another option.

different cheese – try halloumi, soft goats cheese, cheddar, ricotta, shaved parmesan or crumbled blue.

more substantial (carb lovers) – toss in cooked pasta. Or serve with pita or tortillas.

more substantial (low carb) – more sausages. more feta. more cabbage. roast nuts. or mayo.

low FODMAP – you’ll need to reduce the cabbage – use about 1/4 of the recipe and serve with some salad leaves to make up the bulk.

different vegetables – I adore this with red cabbage but you could use any greens such as kale, collards, spinach or chard. Just slice greens and reduce the amount of water to 1-2 tablespoons. Greens won’t take as long to cook. Cauliflower or broccoli are another option – expect them to take longer than the cabbage. And feel free to add any cooked veg you have in the house at the end. Softening an onion before adding the cabbage is lovely.

different herbs – thyme or rosemary can be used instead of the sage – no need to fry them first just add with the cabbage. Mint, chives, basil, oregano or coriander (cilantro) can replace the parsley.

different protein – see the vegetarian variations above. Any ground (minced) meat will work. You could also use sliced chicken breasts or chicken thigh fillets. Or bacon – there’s always bacon! Leftover cooked meat can be added with the feta.

no balsamic – use another wine vinegar like red or white wine. Sherry vinegar and apple cider vinegar are excellent too. You may like to add a little pinch of sugar or honey to add sweetness but I wouldn’t bother.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

sausages – freeze them.

cabbage – will keep in a plastic bag in the fridge for weeks, even months. Can be frozen but will have a wilted texture once defrosted.

balsamic vinegar
– keep it in the pantry.

feta
– keeps for months unopened in its packet. Or can be frozen.

parsley / sage – will keep in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag for a few weeks. Can be frozen.

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep the parsley, crispy sage leaves and feta separately. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, warm cabbage and sausages in a pan with a little oil and add herbs and feta as per the recipe.

Balsamic Cabbage + Sausages

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