This post is as much about the creamed cabbage and fennel as it is about the vegan sausages.
I grew up in a family that made its own homemade Italian sausages, so never entertained the thought of trying vegan substitutes. That homemade taste is not replicable, besides, I don’t like things to taste like meat.
Recently, I came across Artisan Field Roast vegan products on a food blog and since they were highly recommended, I decided to give them a try. Though I eat very little processed food, something in the list of ingredients convinced me that these had potential.
I cooked only one for me (John had the real thing) and besides being a little dry on the outside (probably my fault – I used to over cook my meat too), the smoked apple sage sausage was incredibly delicious, not meaty tasting, and easy to digest. Their producers call them “a savory combination of apples and sage anchored with yukon gold potatoes with a subtle hint of hickory smoke”. It’s a new way of looking at vegan sausages – not meant to replicate, but celebrate vegetables employing an old tradition.
Sausages and cabbage are a very classic combination. This time, I decided to cream it up – my way. I added a thinly sliced onion and bulb of fennel, which does a very good job of accompanying the cabbage without hijacking the dish. I created a cabbage soup a few years ago and discovered the delights of combining fresh sage and dried marjoram. On their own, sage and marjoram are quite floral, but together they make a bouquet.
There’s something very satiny about cabbage, which when lightly enveloped by the cream, infused with the bouquet of herbs, makes the ordinary, extraordinary. I use cream sparingly in my cooking and quite often it’s 5 or 10 percent cream. I achieved the full fat effect by incorporating just a little bit of cornstarch. Really, it works!
Each spoonful of cabbage feels like silk on the tongue – extremely sensual, even luxurious, and combined with the smoked apple sage sausage makes this a perfect match.
In terms of weeknight meals, it doesn’t get any easier or quicker.
|Olive oil||5 tbsp|
|Marjoram, dried||1 tsp|
|Fennel, bulb, sliced thinly||1|
|Cabbage, sliced thinly||1.5 lbs|
|Cream, light||1.5 cups|
|Sage, leaves, fresh, chopped||13|
- Heat olive oil.
- Add onion and cook 3-4 minutes.
- Add marjoram and fennel and cook 4-5 minutes.
- Add cabbage and cook 4-5 minutes.
- Add cream, salt, black pepper, sage, and nutmeg and stir until well combined and the cream is heated through.
- Combine cornstarch and water and add to the cabbage and cream; combine well.
- Heat until the cream has thickened to desired consistency and cabbage is cooked to your liking. In my dish, the cabbage and fennel both had a slight crunch.