CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…Cabbage…Do you eat your #Greens?

 

Welcome to Friday Food Reviews where I will be covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are they?  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, cook them, anything connected to that food. or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three…

This week it’s…Cabbage, Greens…

I love every sort of greens/cabbage either steamed lightly, stir-fried, pickled, fermented, raw we all do even the kids…I also think that school cooks, our grandmothers or mothers have much to answer for as to whether or not we love our greens or maybe we are just damn fussy or have never eaten them since we were a child and have carried that into adulthood and passed it on to our kids…there are as many who hate their greens as who ♥ their greens.

I ate them as a child I didn’t particularly like them or not but I had to eat my dinners or risk it being served for breakfast although I never remember that particular threat being carried out…lol…I also learnt as I started cooking that you didn’t need to boil the life out of them like my mother and my nanna did…although I have fond memories of the cabbage water with a touch of vinegar being a treat.

I also remember my father one Christmas saying to my mother “why don’t you cook your greens like Carol does”…I think if I had been the one that was said to my reaction would have been a tad different to my mother’s but from that day on she cooked her greens the same way I did…apart from that she also taught me much of what I know now and encouraged my love of cooking and baking…

I will now share with you some of the ways I cook and serve greens to my family and hope that if you don’t eat your greens that you will at least try one of them with an open mind…after all you may hate cabbage but do you eat coleslaw?

Types of Greens…

Affordable, versatile “Cabbage” makes an appearance in cuisines from all around the world. They can be braised, grilled, sautéed or even pickled and yet we often take them for granted,

But this humble vegetable can do way more in a dish than simply be tossed in a salad with some dressing…plus it goes without saying that cabbages are jam-packed with nutrients, packed with Vitamin C, K and B6…high in fibre…iron and antioxidants…crinkly or smooth leaf the cabbage belongs to the Brassica family which includes broccoli, cauliflower and kale…it is easy to grow even in a window box and its low cost…What’s not to like?

Around the world, the cabbage is king…a green, white or red cabbage with tightly packed leaves just like a cannonball is at its delicious best when delicious braised, stewed or boiled in a simple soup with chopped-up cabbage, carrots, corn and pork ribs…it’s perfect for shredding into coleslaw or fermented into sauerkraut…used as a wrap with Larb Moo is one of the ways I serve white cabbage and its one of Lily’s favourite and most request dinners.

She has a big chunk of white cabbage on the side and wraps a piece of cabbage around a spoonful of larb and eats it ..the taste and the texture of raw crispy cabbage with the spicy, pork with chillies and herbs is a joy to eat…we also sometimes make the larb into balls and fry them until crispy and wrap in the cabbage leaf there is a recipe for both in the highlighted link above.

Napa Cabbage…

I’m sure many of you are now familiar with seeing this beautiful cabbage for sale on markets and in your local store…In Korea, it is used to make kimchi…added to soups, or as a stuffing for dumplings…Try it shredded into a slaw, tossed with noodles, or stuffed in a hearty wrap…its uses don’t stop there though some Napa cabbage, bell peppers, carrots, and sliced pork tenderloin all stir-fried together in a Thai sweet chilli sauce that adds a pop of heat to the dish and you have a tasty meal…

But in keeping with my policy for waste not want not in mind I am giving you a dish made with the stems of napa/Nappa Chinese cabbage. Most days I start my day with a bowl of vegetable stir fry with rice…we all love veggies and on my plate, my veggies far outweigh the amount of meat I eat…

Who throws this away?

It is the stalk of the napa cabbage cut on the diagonal and am going to stirfry them with some chopped garlic, chopped ginger, dried chillies and chopped green onion. A sauce made from black vinegar, oyster sauce, soy sauce and a pinch of sugar.

Start by heating a little oil in your pan and adding the chillies, garlic and onion and cook for 1 min.

Then add your Nappa cabbage stalks and stir fry for a further 2-3 mins. Add your sauces I always mix mine beforehand so they are ready. Cook for another minute…

This can either be served with rice/noodles or as a side to your main dish…

Almost the same colour as the rice it was actually very tasty and the whole of the Napa cabbage was used…no waste…

Savoy Cabbage…

One of my favourite cabbages…easily recognisable the Savoy cabbage has wrinkly leaves. … They’re shaped into a tight, round head, like conventional green or red cabbages, but the leaves have the distinctively wrinkled appearance of Napa cabbage leaves. Savoy varieties are milder-flavoured than regular green cabbage, but the two can be used interchangeably in recipes.

How to cook cabbage…nothing fancy but as a side vegetable with your Sunday roast or midweek meal…

Boiled or Blanched:

Put the cabbage leaves or shredded cabbage in a large pan and cover halfway with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 3-5 mins or until tender. To blanch (so they can be sautéed or fried later), cover with water and boil for 3 mins. Transfer the leaves to cold water to refresh.

Steaming:

Best for spring green cabbage, Savoy cabbage…Put your prepared, shredded cabbage in a steamer and steam for around 5 mins or until tender.

Frying:

For all types of cabbage...Shred the leaves from half a head of cabbage, removing any tough leaf stems. Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok, then add the cabbage and 2 sliced garlic cloves. Stir-fry until the cabbage starts to wilt then add 75ml vegetable stock. Cover and cook for 3 mins until just tender.

Braising:

For red cabbage, white cabbage…Finely slice 1 large onion and put it and 50g butter, or 50ml olive oil in a heavy-based, flameproof casserole dish. Fry the onion over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 mins. Cut the core from a 750g cabbage and finely slice the leaves. Add this to the casserole dish and toss everything together, cooking over low heat while you peel and slice 1 apple. Crush 1 tsp juniper and 1 tsp caraway seeds together, then add these and the apple slices to the pan. Season and pour in 500ml cider, red wine or water. Stir well and bring to a simmer, cover the dish and cook for 20 mins.

Other ways to cook include the following;

Spiced Red Cabbage: Not only is this a regular on our Christmas menu we also have it at various other times of the year…it can be eaten with cold or hot meats and keeps well in the fridge or freezer…Spiced Red Cabbage.

Pickled/brined Cabbage: White cabbage is a regular purchase here we either eat it raw or I brine it with salt or we just have it steamed as a side as above.

Pickled Cabbage, green onions and Eggplant…

Layer Cabbage, Green Onions, eggplants and salt in the dish add a little water. Mix it all together with your hands. I use lovely yellow eggplants on this occasion but any of the small eggplants can be used except for the pea eggplants.

We then leave the dish covered on the kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.

Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier or sour more than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.

My daughter in law who is Thai doesn’t like it as sour as we do… she doesn’t like the Winegar taste as she puts it… Once it reaches your required taste it is ready to eat…you can of course leave the eggplants out and add some spring onions or wild garlic which is lovely.

Not forgetting of course and one of the best recipes ever that you can make with leftover cold cabbage is Bubble and Squeak

bubble and squeak-potato-cabbage

Bubble and Squeak

This is one of the best meals ever with some bacon and eggs…

If you still do not like cabbage but like cheese sauce then make a nice au gratin with some cauliflower, broccoli and some white cabbage…

Make any white sauce and add grated cheese and some mustard…A white sauce is essentially Béchamel sauce traditionally made from a white roux and milk.

Ingredients:

  • 500ml whole milk
  • 1tsp English mustard powder
  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 100gm mature cheddar, grated
  • 50gm parmesan grated

Let’s Cook!

Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour and mustard powder to make a paste. Gradually whisk in the milk and simmer to thicken to a smooth sauce, stirring constantly.

Take the sauce off the heat and stir in 2/3 of the cheddar and half the Parmesan. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pour over your steamed cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli and sprinkle over the remaining cheeses. I also add little cherry tomatoes around the edge or tomato slices…

Cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli bake

Cook under the grill until the sauce is bubblier and the top is golden brown for about 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven at 180/200 degrees.

I didn’t run out of tomatoes...lol…hubby doesn’t like tomatoes so I always leave a gap…

That’s all for cabbage(although) there are so many other ways to cook this beautiful green vegetable I hope I have encouraged you to try cabbage or other greens…I look forward to your comments xx

26 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…Cabbage…Do you eat your #Greens?

  1. allysnotebook

    Awesome Post Carol. I do like Chicken Kiev, I usually buy it already made but I really must make my own. As for cabbage my dear Mother used to torture it and Dad would drink the water it was boiled in and add Worcestershire Sauce. I usually make raw salad with cabbage or stir fry it. xx

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  2. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 3rd -9th April 2022-Monday Musings, A-Z World Cuisine, China , Food Review “Cabbage” and Saturday Snippets where “Bubble” is my prompt. | Retired? No one told me!

  3. beetleypete

    We eat Savoy Cabbage, Sweetheart Cabbage, White Cabbage, and Red Cabbage. My personal favourite is spiced Red Cabbage with apple, and I have some of that to accompany roast pork next Sunday.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

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  4. johnrieber

    Carol, “Bubble and squeak” still eludes me – BUT I love the use of cable as slaw, or as you have noted, as an additive with other greens, like kale, spinach or even broccoli – adding nutrients and bulk to a dish without overpowering the flavors, especially Napa cabbage! Another great post, bravo to you!

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  5. Darlene

    I was also raised on cabbage dishes, but never boiled. Sauerkraut was a staple for German immigrants to Canada and is so good for you. Also popular were cabbage rolls which we called pigs in blankets. I love coleslaw but not if it is smothered in mayonnaise and red cabbage dishes were also very popular growing up. My husband doesn’t like cabbage but only because he was only ever served the boiled to death type as a child. He does like my coleslaw though. Cheers to the noble cabbage!!

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Yes, cheers to the noble cabbage, Darlene… I call sausages wrapped in bacon pigs in blankets amazing the difference with names between cultures… I don’t smother my coleslaw in mayo either we like to taste veggies not mayo.. 😀 x

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  6. Pingback: CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…Cabbage…Do you eat your #Greens? – MobsterTiger

  7. marianbeaman

    Cabbage is a mainstay in Pennsylvania Dutch cookery. My Grandma L. was so famous for her cabbage slaw and sauerkraut, the town newspaper ran a special article on her.

    Almost every week I make Cole Slaw from cabbage. Cabbage rolls with hamburger and tomato sauce were a frequent menu item when the kids were growing up.

    I like your imagery of cabbage as a cannon ball, but it is a tame vegetable except when it causes gas – ha! Great post, Carol!

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Wow, I would have loved to have tasted her slaw.. What a lovely memory, Marian. I make slaw quite often we love it too.. Yes.. There is that .. Haha… Thank you.. Happy you enjoyed the post, Marian.. I love it when food invokes a memory 🤗x

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