From the naturally diverse region of the Mediterranean, we’ve been graced with everything from olive trees to miniature donkeys, from Cleopatra to cabbage.
You heard it right! The fancy name for cabbage is Brassica Oleracea, which actually refers to all cruciferous plants, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, kale and cauliflower. Although seemingly different, they all share the same roots of the wild cabbage, which is native to the European Mediterranean.
Cabbage pairs perfectly with spices and herbs such as caraway, chives, tarragon, garlic, dill, celery seed, thyme and black pepper. It stands on its own or blends beautifully with root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, leeks, turnips, parsnips and rutabaga.
And cabbage isn’t choosy when it comes to proteins, equally complementing red meats, poultry, fish, pork, legumes, tofu and tempeh. Raw cabbage is slightly “spicy,” delicious and crunchy. Once sautéed, steamed, baked, boiled or braised, cabbage takes on a mellow, sweet flavor.
Our most cherished cabbage dishes include traditional coleslaw, corned beef and cabbage, stuffed cabbage leaves, cabbage soup, Korean pickled kimchi and German sauerkraut, but there are numerous other ways to chow down on cabbage. Here are some ideas:
- Slice and sauté in olive or sesame oil. Add to cooked grains or serve over cooked grains. Here’s a delicious idea for Miso-Ginger Wild Rice with Cabbage.
- Chop and add to or garnish chilies, vegetable soups and stews.
- For a taste of Old Europe, enjoy Borscht with Cabbage and Potatoes, Red Cabbage with German Sausage or Weisswurst and Beef Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.
- Chop and add to a fresh fruit salad. Try this Cabbage with Apples and Walnuts.
- Slice and add to leafy green salads, whole grain salads and meat salads such as this Pork and Napa Cabbage Salad.
- For a fun change, make curly-crinkled Napa Cabbage Coleslaw or Cabbage and Carrot Slaw.
- Slice and garnish sandwiches, tacos and burgers. These Catfish Tacos feature Thai Cabbage Slaw.
- For a quick idea, when heating (preferably natural) canned soups, ramen noodles or cup-o-soups, stir in some thinly sliced cabbage for a nice, healthy crunch.
- Chop and add to potato salad or macaroni salad. Our Potato Salad with Cabbage and Spicy Mustard uses Napa cabbage.
- Cabbage is not just for potatoes. Try it with Linguine and Ham for a real treat.
- Cabbage is great sautéed, steamed and topped with melted cheese. This recipe for Cabbage and Cheddar Gratin, in the words of an enthusiastic customer, is “killer amazing”
- Cutting back on carbs? Serve stir-fried veggies or protein over shredded cabbage instead of rice.
- If you love corned beef and cabbage, then you are sure to love these Corned Beef and Cabbage Rolls.
- Juice cabbage along with apples and celery for a refreshing beverage.
- Sauté or steam and enjoy with legumes such as garbanzo beans, black beans or any favorite peas or beans.
- Make lentil soup; add sliced cabbage.
- Don’t forget that cabbage makes a tempeh or tofu stir-fry seriously good.
- Make these fun Cabbage and Leek Griddle Cakes.
- Use large cabbage leaves to decorate a plate or use as a “bowl” for other dishes. Red cabbage is particularly colorful.
Are you a fan of the ancient cabbage? Got a favorite recipe? I’d love to read your comments.