Last Sunday, I made kimchi and pasta primavera. Sally was visiting, we had talked about cooking together, and I was interested in doing something inexpensive, at home, and out of the rain. This is why it’s important to always have veggies in the fridge! You never know when inspiration will strike.
I had a purple cabbage, a green cabbage, asparagus, a red bell pepper, carrots, elephant garlic, onions, and scallions in the fridge–plus more that I probably can’t remember. Today, I only have half a purple cabbage, a tiny chunk of garlic, some brussels, and some kind of hot chili pepper. Actually, that sounds like fun. Taylor left some red potatoes as well. Maybe I’ll roast some potatoes and brussels together with olive oil, garlic, and the pepper. Spicy!
But I’ll do that tomorrow. I’ve gotta push myself out of the house! Cooking is a good way to hide inside.
I started the kimchi by chopping the head of green cabbage into quarters, removing the core, and cutting the quarters into 1/2 inch slices. Kimchi really calls for Napa cabbage, but I use what I have. I put the cabbage in a colander over a pot (don’t have any big bowls) and generously salted it. I let that sit for two hours, stirring occasionally. The salt helped sweat and wilt the cabbage. I was amazed that it worked! There was a pool of salty water at the bottom of the pot at the end of the two hours!
While I was working on the cabbage, Sally made the spicy sauce. She very finely chopped ginger, garlic, scallions, and an apple. A different kimchi recipe I read suggested using an apple instead of sugar for a more natural and authentic sweetness. She mixed her chopped fruits & veggies with apple cider vinegar and a lot of sriracha.
Once the cabbage was wilted, I rinsed it several times in the colander and then mixed the cabbage and sauce together.
I packed the kimchi into two glass jars, then filled the jars the rest of the way up with water. Sealed them tightly, shook them up, and put them in the fridge until morning.
Ben and I tried the kimchi in the morning. It was not exactly traditional fermented kimchi, but was still delicious. The cabbage was wilted and flavorful from the sauce, but still retained some of its original firmness and texture. The spicy vinegar broth felt cleansing and the bites of raw garlic were invigorating. We haven’t eaten any since that morning, so I’m sure it has gotten much spicier!
To make the pasta primavera, I boiled spaghetti until almost al dente. I boiled then sauteed asparagus, red bell pepper, and carrots in olive oil that had been warming up with onion and garlic. I then sauteed the noodles in the pan as well. I didn’t want a sauce on the pasta other than the olive oil we had been using to cook, and the result was delicious. It was light, garlicky, and heavy on the vegetables. A healthy and great meal.