Peeling and Zesting

Regular readers know of my love for all things Lakeland and I’ve taken a look at a few ideas for Christmas – treats for yourself and for friends and family.

If you’re a lover of cabbage or coleslaw no kitchen is complete without this inexpensive shredder that makes light work of breaking down even the toughest Capitata.  Homemade anything tastes a great deal better, not only can you put what you like into it, there’s no preservatives and that’s just as well as it tends to disappear pretty quickly.  With red cabbage about to come into season this is worth the investment and perfect for Jamie Oliver’s red cabbage recipe I have copied below.

Talking of planes, a brilliant investment is the Edgeware zester (£14.99).  Now I have one I use it as often as I can.  It’s recently picked up a Good Housekeeping Best New Household Product award.

This grates zest with ease and stores it in the catcher at the rear – has 2 tbsp increments on the back so you have an idea how much you’re grating.  This stops the zest (or Parmesan) confetti that you often get when grating directly into a bowl.  My only complaint is that I think it would be better if the plastic back was clear instead of smoked grey.  My eyes aren’t the best and I can’t actually decide how much I have grated until I poke the unit under a bright light.  It has a non-stick ceramic coating on a stainless steel blade and washes up a treat.  It has a protective cover that snaps on the front, so you won’t have any nipping accidents when storing in drawers.

I’ve used it for limes and lemons and it’s easy to use so you really don’t grate down to the bitter pith – perfect for my lemon drizzle cake.  It grates ginger, garlic, cinnamon and nutmeg but I’ve not tried that – yet.

Here’s Jamie Oliver’s must-try red cabbage braised with apple, bacon and balsamic vinegar (easy and always delivers). Serves 4.

• Olive oil
• 250g smoked streaky bacon, finely sliced
• 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, bashed
• 1 onion, peeled and sliced
• 2 good eating apples, peeled and chopped into 2.5cm/1 inch pieces
• 1 red cabbage, outer leaves and core removed, chopped or grated
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 150ml balsamic vinegar
• a knob of butter
• a handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves


Pour a good lug of olive oil into a saucepan, get it hot and add the bacon and fennel seeds. Cook until golden then add the onion and continue to cook, with the lid on, for a few more minutes until golden and sticky. Add the apple, followed by the cabbage chunks, salt and pepper and the vinegar, and stir everything together well. Put the lid back on and continue to cook on a low heat for an hour, checking and stirring every so often. You will end up with a gorgeously sticky-sweet cabbage dish that you’ll want to eat immediately, straight out of the pan! Or, if you can wait long enough, scoop it into a serving dish, pop the butter on top and sprinkle over the parsley.

Tastes even better the next day.