Cabbage

About:

Cabbage has a round shape and is composed of superimposed leaf layers. It is a member of the food family traditionally known as cruciferous vegetables (also known as brassicas) and is related to kale, broccoli, collards and Brussels sprouts.

Cabbage comes in many varieties, including green, purple, and white. The brightly colored purple cabbage is not only beautiful, but contains anthocyanins, which have been proven to have anti-carcinogenic properties… meaning, it helps your body fight off cancer. Cabbage is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and is a good source of fiber. Cabbage is also a good source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenging, harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals. Enough vitamin K in the diet makes your bone stronger, healthier and delays osteoporosis. Have I mentioned yet, cabbage is also delicious?!

Uses:

Even though the inside of cabbage is usually clean since the outer leaves protect it, you still may want to clean it. Remove the thick fibrous outer leaves and cut the cabbage into pieces and then wash under running water.

If you notice any signs of worms or insects, which sometimes appears in cabbage, soak the head in salt water or vinegar water for 15-20 minutes first. To preserve its vitamin C content, cut and wash the cabbage right before cooking or eating it. Since phytonutrients in the cabbage react with carbon steel and turn the leaves black, use a stainless steel knife to cut.

To cut cabbage into smaller pieces, first quarter it and remove the core. Cabbage can be cut into slices of varying thickness, grated by hand or shredded in a food processor.

The ways to prepare cabbage are endless really - shredded raw in coleslaw, deep fried in a Chinese egg roll, sautéed into your favorite stir-fry, or steamed for a healthy side dish.

Keeping cabbage cold for storage will keep it fresh and help it retain its vitamin C content. Put the whole head in a plastic bag in the crisper of your refrigerator. Red and green cabbage will keep this way for about 2 weeks


Recipes:

Sweet and Sour Cod with Cabbage & Broccoli

Serves 4

Prep and Cook Time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced medium thick
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 TBS chicken or vegetable broth 
  • 1 TBS minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets, cut into about 1/2-inch pieces with no stem
  • 1 lb cod filet, cut into 1-inch pieces (use thick filets)
  • 4 cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1 TBS sesame seeds
  • Sweet n' Sour Sauce
  • 3 TBS soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mirin rice wine
  • 2 TBS chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 TBS honey
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Slice onion and mince garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their health-promoting properties.
  2. Mix together all sauce ingredients and simmer in a small saucepan over high heat for about 15 minutes, reducing it to half the volume. Set aside. This will intensify the flavor.
  3. While sauce is reducing, prepare rest of ingredients.
  4. Heat 1 TBS broth in a stainless steel wok or large skillet. Stir-fry onion in broth for 1 minute over medium high heat, stirring constantly.
  5. Add garlic, ginger, and cod and continue to stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
  6. Add broccoli and continue to stir-fry for another minute.
  7. Add cabbage and continue to stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  8. Add sweet n' sour sauce, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Slaw with Sorrel and Lovage

A flavorful slaw with a festive twist...sorrel and lovage!

Yield: About 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups finely sliced cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped lovage
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • about 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Procedure:
Toss vegetables in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon juice or vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt and pepper. Taste for flavor, then add olive oil slowly while whisking until it reaches the desired taste or consistency. Pour over the vegetables and mix. 


Sunflower Coleslaw

This recipe is from Vegetariana and comes highly recommended from Connie, a garden member.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups thinly shredded white or red cabbage
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup parsley dressing (below)


Procedure:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Chill before serving.

Parsley Dressing
Yield: About 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup firmly packed fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup oil (half safflower, half olive recommended)
  • ¼ cup peeled, seeded, and chopped cucumber
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Procedure:
Place all ingredients in the container of a food processor. Process until all that remains of parsley is tiny flakes. Refrigerate the unused portion in an airtight container and use within 2 days.


Roasted Cabbage Wedges

Serves 6


  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 more tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium head green cabbage, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon caraway or fennel seeds

STEP 1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Place 1 medium head green cabbage, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds, in a single layer on sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons oil. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon caraway or fennel seeds. Roast until cabbage is tender and edges are golden, 40 to 45 minutes.

Homeade Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar

Makes 1 to 1 1/2 quarts

*Puts the store-bought stuff to shame!

Ingredients:
1 medium head green cabbage (about 3 pounds)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional, for flavor)

Equipment
Cutting board
Chef's knife
Mixing bowl
2-quart widemouth canning jar (or two quart mason jars)
Canning funnel (optional)
Smaller jelly jar that fits inside the larger mason jar
Clean stones, marbles, or other weights for weighing the jelly jar
Cloth for covering the jar
Rubber band or twine for securing the cloth

Instructions:

  1. Clean everything: When fermenting anything, it's best to give the good, beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your mason jar and jelly jar are washed and rinsed of all soap residue. You'll be using your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage, so give those a good wash, too.
  2. Slice the cabbage: Discard the wilted, limp outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise into very thin ribbons.
  3. Combine the cabbage and salt: Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. At first, it may not seem like enough salt, but gradually, the cabbage will become watery and limp — more like coleslaw than raw cabbage. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. If you'd like to flavor your sauerkraut with caraway seeds, mix them in now.
  4. Pack the cabbage into the jar: Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack them into the canning jar. If you have a canning funnel, this will make the job easier. Every so often, tamp down the cabbage in the jar with your fist. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you were massaging it into the jar.→ Optional: Place one of the larger outer leaves of the cabbage over the surface of the sliced cabbage. This will help keep the cabbage submerged in its liquid.
  5. Weigh the cabbage down: Once all the cabbage is packed into the mason jar, slip the smaller jelly jar into the mouth of the jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles. This will help keep the cabbage weighed down, and eventually, submerged beneath its liquid. 
  6. Cover the jar: Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band or twine. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar, but prevent dust or insects from getting in the jar.
  7. Press the cabbage every few hours: Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the jelly jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
  8. Add extra liquid, if needed: If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
  9. Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days: As it's fermenting, keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature — ideally 65°F to 75°F. Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid.Because this is a small batch of sauerkraut, it will ferment more quickly than larger batches. Start tasting it after 3 days — when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw on the cap, and refrigerate. You can also allow the sauerkraut to continue fermenting for 10 days or even longer. There's no hard and fast rule for when the sauerkraut is "done" — go by how it tastes.While it's fermenting, you may see bubbles coming through the cabbage, foam on the top, or white scum. These are all signs of a healthy, happy fermentation process. The scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigerating. If you see any mold, skim it off immediately and make sure your cabbage is fully submerged; don't eat moldy parts close to the surface, but the rest of the sauerkraut is fine.
  10. Store sauerkraut for several months: This sauerkraut is a fermented product so it will keep for at least two months and often longer if kept refrigerated. As long as it still tastes and smells good to eat, it will be. If you like, you can transfer the sauerkraut to a smaller container for longer storage.

Recipe Note

  • Sauerkraut with Other Cabbages: Red cabbage, napa cabbage, and other cabbages all make great sauerkraut. Make individual batches or mix them up for a multi-colored sauerkraut!