No idea where this came from – but I love the combination of sweet, spicy and tart. And like most stews, it’s better on the second and third days.
Extra-virgin olive oil 3 large carrots, thinly sliced About 1-1/4 pounds cabbage, thinly sliced 2 medium to large onions, coarsely chopped 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 5 large garlic cloves, minced 2 teaspoons ground allspice 1 generous teaspoon each ground coriander and ground ginger 2 tablespoons each sweet paprika and dried basil 2 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste 1/3 cup vinegar (red wine or cider vinegar) 1 cup vegetable broth or water 1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes Water as needed
Film the bottom of a straight-sided 12-inch sauté pan with oil and set it over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add the carrots, cabbage and onions. Sprinkle them with the salt and pepper, and sauté the vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring them often, or until they’re browning (this is where the stew’s depth comes from). Stir in the garlic, the spices and sugar. Cook until the spices are fragrant, but no more than a minute.
Pour the vinegar into the pan and boil it down as you scrape up any brown glaze from the bottom of the pan. When there is no liquid left, stir in the broth or water, and the tomatoes and their juice, crushing them with your hands as they go into the pan. The vegetables should be barely covered with liquid. Add a little water if necessary.
Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes (check often for sticking), or until the carrots are barely tender. Uncover the pan and turn up the heat so the liquid is at a fast bubble. Cook off the excess liquid, stirring the stew often to protect the vegetables from burning. You want the sauce to be thick and rich tasting with a sweet-tart balance. Add more sugar, vinegar, salt and/or pepper as needed.