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Cabbage, the Versatile Vegetable

By Alana Sugar, March 10, 2014  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar

Corned Beef and Cabbage Rolls

Corned Beef and Cabbage Rolls

On March 17, cabbage joins corned beef in its annual co-starring role on St. Patrick’s Day. I like to honor the day with these Corned Beef and Cabbage Rolls, and I may try this St. Patrick’s Day Quiche this year.

While cabbage has a rich history with traditional Irish fare, it’s also a mainstay of cuisines from around the world. In fact, modern cabbage is a descendent of wild field cabbage that grew along the Mediterranean region of Europe in ancient times. Those Mediterranean roots can be tasted in Linguini with Wilted Cabbage and Ham, flavored with olive oil, Pecorino cheese and garlic.

Here’s a quick rundown on the most common varieties: 

  • Linguini with Wilted Cabbage and HamGreen cabbage is the most familiar. It’s heavy and round with smooth light green leaves. Delicious in slaw, salads, soups, stir-fries and sandwiches like Turkey and Goat Cheese Open-Faced Sandwiches with Tangy Apple Slaw.
  • Napa cabbage has long, light-green leaves with white stalks. Chop and add to slaw, salads and side dishes like this Napa Cabbage Coleslaw with Miso Dressing.
  • Savoy Cabbage is also known as “curly” cabbage. Its leaves are less compact than traditional green cabbage making them easy to separate. Try it stuffed and baked or braised in vegetable or chicken broth flavored with a little butter, olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Red cabbage, also called purple cabbage (it is closer to magenta in color), makes a beautiful addition to slaw, salad, stir-fries and side dishes. It’s fabulous cooked with meats and flavored with wine or vinegar like this Red Cabbage and German Sausage. Remember, red cabbage may turn blue when cooked. Adding something acidic like vinegar or lemon juice can help retain its color.

Cabbage is often eaten raw in salads, pickles and slaws, but it’s equally delicious when braised, steamed, sautéed or baked with meats or other vegetables. Raw cabbage is delightfully crunchy and slightly spicy. Once cooked, it takes on a mellow, sweet flavor.

Whatever your preference, here are some ideas:

  • Combine with potatoes in stews, soups like Borscht with Cabbage and Potatoes, and salads like Potato Salad with Cabbage and Spicy Mustard, served warm, much like my German grandmother would. 
  • Roast with colorful root vegetables such as carrots, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, yellow or purple potatoes, parsnips and red onions. Try adding cabbage to this recipe for Roasted Root Vegetables.
  • Braise cabbage with onions and carrots in chicken or vegetable stock and serve with roast chicken, spiral-sliced ham, baked tempeh or tofu. 
  • Serve these slaws at room temperature on cold days or use them as a condiment for burgers: 
  • Honey Mustard Coleslaw
  • Cabbage Slaw with Gala Apples and Walnuts
  • Cabbage and Carrot Slaw
  • Seafood Burgers with Roasted Cabbage Slaw
  • Simmer cabbage wedges in curry sauce and serve over basmati rice. 
  • Serve stir-fried veggies or protein over shredded cabbage instead of rice or potatoes – great for those cutting back on carbs.
  • Tuck chopped cabbage into this warm and comforting Cabbage and Cheddar Gratin.
  • Make vegetarian cabbage rolls by stuffing parboiled cabbage leaves with your choice of cooked vegetables, legumes (black beans, garbanzos, white beans, etc.) and whole grains (wild rice, quinoa, whole wheat couscous or millet). Ladle seasoned tomato sauce over top and add a sprinkling of cheese, if you like. Bake until piping hot.

Do you have a favorite cabbage recipe? I’d love to hear. 

Category: Food & Recipes, Produce




Great Stone Face says ...
I enjoy to make gaeran tost-u, a Korean breakfast sandwich with minced cabbage (or kimchi), carrots, and onion. The vegetables are sauteed lightly, then a beaten egg is poured over them to make a flat omelet. The omelet is placed (folded, if necessary) on a slice of grilled or toasted bread. Then, the omelet is garnished with ketchup and brown sugar; and topped with anther slice of grilled or toasted bread.
03/11/2014 1:06:14 PM CDT
Earl Malloy says ...
I am very happy that you start your new website. I have found many wonderful and healthy recipes, Keep on. Happy St. Patrick's Day, Earl
03/12/2014 4:01:01 PM CDT
Vera Crooks says ...
Stone Face --- Your recipe sounds delicious . . . right up until the addition of ketchup and brown sugar!
03/12/2014 4:08:50 PM CDT
Helen Teeples says ...
How come the reviews can't be accessed for your recipes?
03/12/2014 6:58:12 PM CDT
Sarah Clark says ...
none of the St. Patrick's Day recipes are visible on the screen
03/13/2014 8:04:07 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@HELEN - The comments made on the recipe pages will be at the bottom of the recipe (sometimes it takes a few seconds to load comments). If comments don't appear, then no one has left a comment about that recipe. If you're referring to the start rating system, these are just stars and no comments are made.
03/13/2014 12:01:21 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@SARAH - There are only 2 photos on the post, are you not able to see the links?
03/13/2014 12:02:42 PM CDT
Gail says ...
but you forgot the most well known...fermented for sauerkraut!
03/13/2014 5:33:36 PM CDT
Leila Bruno says ...
so wishing to try the Roasted Vegetables receipe, but the link does not work. thanks anyway.....
03/13/2014 8:54:08 PM CDT
Emily Wundrock says ...
I'm all in favor of cabbage recipes, but why not give us one that is really popular...the Spicy Thai Slaw with Pad Thai dressing that you carry in the deli bar. It is delicious and a great Vegan option for those of us who don't eat meat. Love to see that on your website. Thanks for your consideration.
03/13/2014 8:54:59 PM CDT
barbara white says ...
Thanks, I will definitely make the vegitarian recipes. I love,love love WF. I am there 2-3 times weekly. Keep these recipes coming. thanks again
03/13/2014 9:20:59 PM CDT
Rev kristyne says ...
The simplest (and excellent) cabbage side dish: Cabbage 'Steaks' Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice cabbage as though to make 4 to 6 one inch 'steaks', place on a cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan and spray or drizzle with olive oil then shake on a little salt/pepper/garlic powder turn and repeat on the other side. Roast cabbage for 30 minutes, turn and check every 10 minutes thereafter. When cabbage begins to char just a little and is fork tender it is done.
03/14/2014 6:31:58 AM CDT
Gregory Gibson says ...
Looks good but where's the Colcannon?
03/14/2014 9:29:42 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@LEILA - My apologies the link didn't work for you. You can also access the recipe at https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/roasted-root-vegetables.
03/14/2014 12:28:41 PM CDT
JL says ...
I adore the cabbage/slaw served on the salad bar in the North Wales Pa store - wish I had that recipe!
03/15/2014 6:55:53 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@JL - Check with the local store to see if they have a recipe, if they do, they'll be happy to share!
03/17/2014 12:57:46 PM CDT
lavicey riley says ...
I am looking for purple sweet potatoes.
12/24/2014 4:53:38 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@LAVICEY - Our exact product options will differ between stores. Check with your local store to see if they have these in stock!
12/26/2014 12:24:40 PM CST
Kathy Wall says ...
Question: Do you sell savoy cabbage? Or do you know who does? Thank you.
05/14/2015 3:17:40 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@KATHY - Most of our stores should carry savoy but availability might differ. Check with your local store directly to see if they have this in stock!
05/14/2015 2:18:27 PM CDT