Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Cabbage is a wonderfully versatile vegetable. It can be eaten raw or cooked, takes on the flavor of what it is prepared with, and stores in your refrigerator much longer than the rest of our fresh produce. It is low in calories (15 for 1 cup) and is a good source of vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. It has been used medicinally for centuries and is still considered a beneficial digestive aid and intestinal cleanser.

My favorite way to eat cabbage is cut in ribbons and sauteed with a bit of olive oil and nampla (a fish sauce that is available at Asian markets – I love it but you could substitute soy sauce) until the cabbage wilts. I love this as a side to a spicy curry or stir fry.

CREAMY COLESLAW--from "Vegetable Every Day" by Jack Bishop
(although I do salt the cabbage for this recipe--if you don't have time, don't worry! It's still great!)
from Jack - "My friend and colleague Pam Anderson showed me the benefits of salting cabbage for coleslaw. The liquid in the cabbage drains so the dressing doesn't become watery, even if the coleslaw is kept in the fridge for a day or two. I like to kick up the flavor in my coleslaw dressing with some Dijon mustard and tarragon."
1/2 large head green cabbage (about 1 1/4 lbs)
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs minced fresh tarragon leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Remove any tough or dry outer leaves from the cabbage half. Cut the cabbage in half though the stem end. Cut out and discard the hard piece of the core at the base of both pieces of cabbage. Slice the cabbage crosswise into the thinnest strips possible. (you should have about 6 cups).
2. Toss the cabbage, carrot, and slat in a large strainer or colander set over a bowl. Let stand until the cabbage wilts, about 1 1/2 hours. Thoroughly rinse under cold running water and then pat completely dry with paper towels. Place the dried cabbage and carrot in a large bowl.
3. Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, tarragon, and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrot and toss to coat evenly. Adjust the seasonings. Serve immediately or better still refrigerate for at least several hours (and up to several days) and serve chilled.

Oma's (my great-grandma) simple red cabbage
This is one of those recipes that you have to keep tasting to be sure the sweet and sour levels are to your liking.
Chop one large head of red cabbage and cook with a bit of water until tender.
Add about 1 2/3 cup sugar and 1 cup apple cider vinegar to the cooking cabbage so that the sugar dissolves. Salt and pepper to taste.

Here is a more complex version along the same line. I haven't tried this one, as I love my Oma's recipe but like the idea of adding apple to cabbage.
Sweet-and-Sour Red Cabbage
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash black pepper
2 cups shredded red or green cabbage (combining them makes the dish look great!)
3/4 cup chopped apple (1 small)

In a large skillet combine the brown sugar, vinegar, water, oil, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until hot, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cabbage and apple. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat about 5 minutes or until cabbage is crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Serve with a slotted spoon. This can easily be doubled

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