purple, green and yellow (cabbage with asparagus and egg)

if you grew up in canada in the 1980s or the 1990s, the name robert munsch means a lot to you. chances are, if you grew up in the 1980s or 1980s, the book ‘love you forever’ was on your bedtime rotation at some point. munsch, an american children’s author who lives in guelph, was the at the core of my nighttime routine when i was growing up. even after i stopped having stories read to me as a child, i picked up his newer books, to read to babysitting clients. when ‘ve been at a loss for a father’s day gift, i try to find an edition of love you forever that my father doesn’t have yet. my dear cousin, a few months older than me, dressed up as the paper bag princess for halloween, an homage to one of my favourite munsch characters.

one of his lesser known books, purple green and yellow was the accidental inspiration for this dish. i consider myself a bit like protagonist, brigid, always seeking to push the limits, especially when it comes to making a mess (i’ve come to accept this flaw.) brigid eventually ends up painting herself and her father in “super indelible, never-come-off-until-you’re-dead-or-maybe-even-later markers”. that might be pushing the envelope a bit too far for me.

like i said, this dish was accidental. i had one half of a small red cabbage in the drawer, and four spears of asparagus, as well as some pancetta that needed using. the idea of braising sounded nice, but i also had how vegetable-only lunches leave me starving after an hour. so, i threw an egg on top. which, is what one does when one needs protein.*

braised cabbage with asparagus and egg
makes enough for two for lunch.

1 cup shredded red cabbage
50 grams (2-3 slices) pancetta (or bacon) diced
1/4 cup red wine
1 tsp (generous) herbs de provence
4-6 spears asparagus, broken in half (i don’t know if this is an asparagus sin, but i do it anyway)
2 eggs

cook the pancetta in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
add the cabbage and sauté lightly, 3-4 minutes.
add the wine and the herbs de provence and cover for about 5 minutes.
add the asparagus and cover, to allow it to steam.
meanwhile, fry or poach your eggs.
once the eggs are done to your liking, serve the asparagus and cabbage in a bowl and top with the egg.
salt and pepper to taste.

*i think the egg board should get beyonce to do a remix of single ladies: “if you like a little protein, put an egg on it.” mind you, i’m partial to this cover.


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