Christmas dinner in Austria marks the end of the traditional preholiday fast, so the fare is rich and decadent. For an Old-World Christmas feast fit for a king, try the menu that the Saahs family has prepared for generations, including this festive recipe. To read more about an Austrian Christmas, click here.
Warm Cabbage Salad
Crispy bacon gives cabbage salad depth and texture. Christine Saahs, an owner of the family-run Nikolaihof Winery in Austria, shares her recipe, which is included in her cookbook Ich koche für mein Leben gern (Brandstätter Verlag, 2010).
1 medium white cabbage (1½ pounds), finely sliced
2 tablespoons white wine or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
2 ounces bacon, approximately 3 strips
Using a large pot, bring water to a rolling boil. Add cabbage. Lower temperature and simmer for 30 minutes, or until cabbage is soft.
While cabbage is cooking, place bacon in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook until just crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. When bacon is cool enough to handle, coarsely chop into small pieces.
Once cabbage is cooked, use a colander to strain off liquid. Place cabbage in a nonreactive bowl. Add vinegar, caraway seeds, salt and pepper. Add chopped bacon and ombine. Taste salad and adjust vinegar and seasonings, if needed. Transfer to platter and serve warm. Serves 4–6.