Saturday, 6 March 2010

Cabbage recipe with a difference

I often struggle to know what to do with cabbage and this recipe is nothing special either, its sliced so it looks like noodles, lightly steamed, then doused in good olive oil with a generous sprinkling of Middle eastern spices which include sumac, oregano and sea salt. Quite simple, I know - but different.
I served this Sumac cabbage with the vegetarian kievs.
But before enjoying this meal, we had quite a busy day playing tourists. We decided to take a drive out to Stirlingshire. The main reason for this journey was to check out this Farm shop and see if this could support our quest in sourcing local and seasonal vegetables. On the itinerary, we also decided to take a drive to Stirling Castle. I've been to Stirling a number of times for work, but have never ventured as far as the castle. So this appealed to us. When we got to Stirling, we parked the car in a shopping centre and then walked up to the castle. My goodness I am so unfit, I was huffing and puffing. I blame all those muffins...but will I give them up? nah. I like them too much and I've never been one to diet, its exercise I need. So this walking, even if it is up hill is good for me, and all that fresh air.
Anyway, this is an impressive statue depicting William Wallace just outside the entrance of the castle. There was also one at the bottom of the National Wallace Monument site just a stones throw away from the castle, but anyone who has been there and seen it will tell you it looks more like the actor Mel Gibson who played William Wallace in the movie Braveheart. I too will vouch for this seeing it will my own very eyes. Just to let you know that particular statue is no longer there. After walking all the way up to the castle we decided we didn't want to pay £9.00 x 2 for the privilege of going in. Instead we had a good nosy round of what we could for free.
We walked through this cemetery which is next to the castle.
It is very impressive. Elaborate headstones. Look at the snow capped mountains in the distance. It really was something to appreciate. Then gently winded our way back down to the town centre.
On our drive back home, we stopped at this farm shop. I remembered being very impressed with it the last time we stopped by. But this time with a discerning eye, I noted it was not all that it appeared. Of course, the crafts objects were Scottish, from the soap, handmade cards to the dried flowers, and Yes the cakes, oat biscuits and bread were home-baked. The meat was locally farmed and the eggs were local, but the fresh produce, such as fruit, vegetables and salads had all pretty much come from elsewhere. This is fine and I accept this, after all it is the winter season and there is not that much to growing and little in storage, but none of the vegetables and fruit were labelled accordingly which I thought was a shame. The frozen fruit such as berries or home-made ready meals had come Kent, these for some reason were labelled. I asked about the rhubarb and was informed that they had got it from Glasgow's Traders Fruit Market, but even that had not been grown in Scotland. I have to say I was a little disappointed as I had hoped this was going to be one way we could try our best to source local and seasonal veg, but unfortunately that is not going to be the case. The assumption many people make about farm shops is that bulk of the fruit and vegetables sold at such places is seasonal, local or at least regional and sometimes organic. This is not always the case. Nevertheless, I applaud and will continue on some level to support such initiatives when I can.


  1. The cabbage looks good, sometimes simple food is the most satsfying:)
    That view is spectacular, such beautiful countryside, I'm jealous!

  2. I was also a bit surprised, upon my visit to my local farmers' market, that not everything was organic. Although the farmers never came from farther than a couple of hours, I just thought that everything would be organic. My goal is to get as much as I can from my own garden. But I'm just beginning, so that might be a few years off. I have to find a spot for the root cellar! I will enjoy following your gardening.

  3. Hi, do you have any recepies with Pak Choy ?

  4. You do tend to think that vegetables from farm shops will at least be grown locally, it's a shame to find out that this is not the case. A relative of my hubby's went to uni in Stirling. He fell in love with Scotland and returns very regularly.

  5. I love cabbage and never would have thought of cooking it this way. It sounds delicious and I will have to give it a try! Thanks! Your trip to Stirlingshire sounds very interesting and the photos are wonderful. Thanks for it all!

  6. Thank you Janet. I agree simple food can be very satisfying. Yes parts of Scotland are very beautiful. Just depends where you are. I think every place has its beauty, sometimes we just need to look a bit harder. But there is no denying that the scenery in Scotland is beautiful - Scottish tourism at work naturally!

    Thank you so, so much Jen S.

    Hi Jonna,
    I have to admit, I enjoy eating pak choy, but haven't cooked with it in a while. The only time I ever use it is in a Thai green curry recipe, of which there are a number on my blog.

    Thanks Jo. I am sure this one does, but it didn't boast about it. So you do have to question yourself.
    Stirling in between Edinburgh and Glasgow is certainly beautiful. I understand why people fall for it. It is very scenic.

    Thank you so, so much Pam.
    The sumac spices I used on the cabbage were already mixed up. My mother in law got a jar for me from her trip to Turkey. I'll be posting it up in a little while.

  7. £9 a skull for entrance to Stirling Castle? To see your own Scottish heritage? what a rip off. On a brighter note, your cabbage looks ace.

  8. That cabbage looks delish :) Looks like you had a lovely day too :)

  9. Thanks Louise. I thought it was a bit steep too. Perhaps I would have paid it if I had family and friends up, but not when we live quite close by.

    Thanks Sooz.
    Now I have to decide what to do with the other half of it.

  10. Hi, i too have ventured up the hill to Stirling Castle, great views but boy does it make your legs ache!
    I worked at a Market Garden until recently, we grew and supplied fruit and veg to our own Farmshop and the local markets, but it has been increasingly difficult to compete with cheap imports from abroad. There are still a few local growers out there if your willing to hunt them down!
    It's really naughty but a lot of Farmshops claim that their produce is local if they have sourced it from their nearest wholesale market, which itself will be supplied by producers from around the world. Clearer labelling is needed.
    Have you tried stir frying spring cabbage with caraway seeds - very yummy.
    P.s thanks for checking out by blog!

  11. Hi Bel.
    Thanks for making me feel better. I'm not the only one who felt sore after venturing up the hill to Stirling Castle :D

    I appreciate your insight into local growers and I am on the hunt for them. There are a few others farm shops and local growers around, so I'll be paying them a visit in due course as we really want to source local (even regional) and seasonal. I would even consider to forego organic.

    I like caraway seeds, so yes I have eaten cabbage this way. Thank you.

  12. Thank you for posting your touring - I feel like I have had a little vacation now.

    We have only one little farmer's market in our town, only open from May thru September, everything from local gardens/orchards. I have only purchased fruit in the past, often seeing veg that I had no idea how to prepare. This year I will visit your blog for inspiration!

  13. Thank you so, so much for your comment Shannon.
    Sorry it wasn't the inside of the castle, but i hope you understand why.

  14. That cabbage looks absolutely delicious, even if it is simple! I still probably wouldn't have thought to make it like this :)


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