Broke? Been neglecting your body? Think heaping platefuls of easy, cheap, tasty, lowly green cabbage! Yes cabbage, famine-relief for millions of early Europeans over the centuries, is still cheap, awfully good for us and quick to prepare.
There are several cabbages out there, the curly Savoy, red, Napa, bok choy and Brussels sprouts. However, we are talking uncurly plain, green cabbage, the survival stuff.
Cooking cabbage too long brings about objectionable odors. Steam, braise or sauté sliced cabbage no more than seven minutes, sprinkle with olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning.
Cabbage, a member of the cruciferous family, related to broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, has long been revered for its nutritional and medicinal benefits. In its wild form, they believe it came to Europe around 600 B.C. with early Celtics. Later, the Greeks and Romans valued it highly for its medicinal properties. The vegetable went on to become valuable to the Germans, Poles and Russians. Dutch sailors consumed it to prevent scurvy.
Cabbage is a good source of vitamins B, C and K, beta-carotene, potassium, manganese, iron, magnesium, powerful antioxidants and fiber. It is very stomach and digestive-tract friendly and aids the body with its anti-inflamatory benefits.
Ideally, choose heads with lush, green leaves around its outside. This is not to say less green heads are unfit. However, make sure the base stem is undamaged, and the cabbage head is on the heavy side for its size.
Green cabbage stores well for up to two weeks in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer. Seal partial heads tighty to preserve its vitmins.
Remove outer leaves, then either slice it into rounds of cut into wedges, removing its core. These can be cooked whole or sliced finely or grated coarsely.
Cooked cabbage pairs well with the flavors of gingerroot, bacon or sausage.
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Soups and stews