Red cabbage is a johnnie-come-lately at my festive feast. I don't remember it featuring in my childhood, but in recent years my sister has sneaked it on to the menu – though personally, I still prefer it with the Boxing Day ham. It seems to occupy the same space as carrots or the yule log: not strictly canonical, but not entirely unwelcome either. In Denmark, however, where they tend to roast richer meats such as pork or duck, spiced red cabbage occupies the same pole position as our brussels sprouts – except it's rather more popular. But whether you serve it up with the turkey, or save it for the next day, it's a shoo-in for some point in the Christmas calendar: after all, it's red (very festive), sweetly spiced (see also: mince pies and mulled wine), and best of all, it only gets better with age.