Six O’Clock Solution: Embrace winter with red cabbage and cranberries

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Cold temperatures, falling snow and recipes to warm the spirit make the mood in a good-looking, seriously English cookbook called Roast Figs, Sugar Snow: Food To Warm the Soul, by Irish-raised Diana Henry (Hachette/Canadian Manda Group, $32.99).

She calls herself “a cold-weather person” and proves it with a cosy collection of simple, well-written recipes for all times of day. The 11th book for London’s weekly Telegraph food writer, this one makes a satisfying browse of hearty, classy dishes ranging from British favourites to recipes from her travels to cold places.

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Read this book beside a roaring fire, suggests foreword writer Nigel Slater, a fellow food writer. A new edition of a 2005 success, the book includes food Henry found on extensive travels in Russia, Scandinavia, “the cooler areas of France” and central Europe. How about an alsatian tarte flambée, a fondue savoyarde, ham and haddie pie, or maple sugar snow from Vermont?

This book is a collection of temptations.

Red cabbage with cranberries

Serves 8

2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 medium red cabbage

1 tart apple, peeled, chopped (Cortland or Granny Smith)

3 tablespoons (45 mL) balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons (30 mL) brown sugar

1 teaspoon (5 mL) pumpkin pie seasoning *

3 tablespoons (45 mL) dried cranberries

2/3 cup (150 mL) fresh or frozen cranberries

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

*Substitute a mixture of ¾ teaspoon (4 mL) cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon (1 mL) ginger.

Melt butter in heavy iron frying pan or Dutch oven and sauté onion just until softened.

Discard cabbage core and shred balance thinly. Add to onion in pan along with apple, vinegar, sugar, seasoning, and dried and fresh cranberries.

Cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat for an hour or more, until soft.

Check seasoning, adding more vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Cook another five minutes, stirring, to blend flavours.

Serve, or cool, refrigerate covered, and reheat to serve another day.

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