Buttery cabbage, sweet leeks and with a slight tang from the mustard seeds, this recipe transforms a boring old cabbage into something special. I like to serve this dish of buttered cabbage and leeks with mustard seeds as a side dish with meat. It goes especially well with roasted pork.
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Buttery cabbage and leeks
Shredded cabbage and leeks, braised in butter and flavoured with mustard seeds is a deliciously different way of preparing cabbage. The soft sweetness of the leeks pairs so well with the crunch of just-tender cabbage, while the butter, browned with mustard seeds, imparts a mouth-watering nutty flavour.
I actually intended to post this recipe a couple of weeks ago, but I had a bit of a mishap while I was making it for the photos. The recipe calls for yellow mustard seeds to be browned in butter, before the cabbage and leeks are added. As I picked up the glass jar of mustard seeds (with wet hands) it slipped through my fingers and smashed on the floor.
Now mustard seeds are perfectly round, and these tiny little spheres went EVERYWHERE. My kitchen floor was covered. Of course, I swept it all up immediately, but even now, some two weeks later, I still notice little mustard seeds whenever I sweep the kitchen floor. (And yes, I have vacuumed too!).
But enough of that. I bought some more mustard seeds and started again.
I hope you enjoy this different way of preparing cabbage. This dish goes perfectly with any roast dinner. I like to serve it with lamb shanks in minted gravy, or with this crispy pork knuckle. And it adds extra oomph to a well-risen toad-in-the-hole.
How to prepare buttered cabbage and leeks with mustard seeds
You can get the complete list of ingredients and full instructions for preparing this cabbage and leek dish on the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
To make this recipe you will only need 4 ingredients (or 5 if you count the salt) – cabbage, leeks, yellow mustard seeds (don’t drop them), butter and salt.
You will need an equal quantity of shredded cabbage and leeks. For 4 people you will need 2 cups of each.
I like to use firm white cabbage, but you could use savoy cabbage or pointed (sweetheart) cabbage instead. The cabbage should be shredded finely – I cut it into quarters and remove the core, then just cut it into thin strips with a sharp knife.
The leeks should also be thinly shredded. Don’t cut them into rings, shred them along their length, approximately the same thickness as the cabbage (see image 1 below).
Melt the butter in a large frying pan (or saucepan) and fry the mustard seeds gently until they start to pop (image 2 above).
Add the shredded cabbage and leeks and 2 tablespoons of water. You won’t need more than this – the cabbage and leeks contain plenty of natural water which will be released as the vegetables soften. Add the salt if using, and stir to coat the vegetables in the butter (image 3 above).
Cover the pan with a lid and leave on the lowest heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is softened and the leeks are nicely caramelised (image 4 above).
Can I freeze buttered cabbage and leeks?
Technically you can freeze any leftovers, but personally I wouldn’t do this. The texture of the dish will change when frozen and reheated, and the vegetables will lose their ‘crunch’.
Can I make this dish in advance?
You can keep shredded cabbage in a plastic bag in your fridge for 2 to 3 days. Any longer than that and the cut edges of the cabbage shreds will start to turn brown. Shredded leeks will last for the same length of time.
Uncut cabbage and leeks will last for a much longer time, so I would be inclined to shred the vegetables when I need them.
You can store the cooked dish, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and either reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave when you are ready to eat it.
How do I make a larger portion?
You can easily make a larger portion to suit your family size. Just make sure you use equal quantities of raw shredded cabbage and leeks, and allow 1 cup of mixed cabbage and leeks per person.
You need one teaspoon of mustard seeds per 2 cups of vegetables.
The 2 ounces of butter called for in the recipe will be sufficient for 4 cups of vegetables. If you are making more than this then increase the butter accordingly (you will need sufficient melted butter to coat the vegetables).
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Why not pin this cabbage and leek recipe to one of your Pinterest boards so you can find it easily if you want to make it. Just click the image below.
If you enjoyed this cabbage and leek recipe, you may like to try some of my other vegetable recipes.
- Creamed cabbage South African style
- Baked cabbage in bacon
- Butternut stuffed with cheese and corn
- Mashed green beans
- Baby marrow with tomato and onion
- Glazed carrots (Vichy carrots)
- Spicy braised red cabbage with apple and onion
- Baked cauliflower and broccoli cheese
Buttered cabbage and leeks with mustard seeds
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 2 cups shredded white cabbage
- 2 cups shredded leeks
- 2 ounces / 60grams butter
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons water
- Shred the cabbage and leeks – see note 12 cups shredded white cabbage, 2 cups shredded leeks
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan and then fry the mustard seeds gently until they start to pop.2 ounces / 60grams butter, 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- Add the shredded cabbage and leeks and stir to coat in the butter.
- Add 2 tablespoons of water and salt to taste. Cover with a lid, and leave to steam gently for about 20 minutes until the leeks are caramelised and the cabbage has softened. Stir occasionally.2 tablespoons water, ½ teaspoon salt
- Serve as a side dish with your favourite roast or grilled meat.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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