January 17, 2013 § 6 Comments
Winter is here now and the produce section pretty limited compared to summer. Although you can find almost anything in markets nowadays, I don’t really like eating tomatoes from Mexico or zucchini from California. I like to eat seasonally, and now is the time of cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and of course cabbage. It’s one vegetable to always have in your fridge. It keeps for a very long time. It cooks up really fast. It’s great in soups. It’s loaded with health: Vitamin K, Vitamin B 6, and Vitamin C… who knew?
Nutrients like manganese, folate, Vit A. are all wrapped up in there. It’s also in the Brassica family of vegetables, known for cancer fighting, especially breast cancer. So don’t skip over the cabbage on your next visit to the market.
Here are a few things you can do with this overlooked vegetable besides coleslaw:
Saute finely sliced in butter or bacon fat, seasoned generously with good sea salt and pepper. Cooks up in about 10 minutes.
Saute shredded carrots and cabbage in olive oil or butter, add some crisped chopped bacon and chopped walnuts.
Steam or boil some sweet potatoes, drain when done, add a good amount of butter. Then add some finely sliced sautéed cabbage, more butter, and some cream to make it nice and smooth. Salt and pepper, yum. This is great the next day too for breakfast with a fried runny egg on top.
Make a raw salad with cabbage, apples, walnuts and dress with a little mayo and cream. Salt and pepper of course.
My favorite: Sautéed in butter, mixed with creamy mashed potatoes and grated cheddar cheese. Put under broiler for a few minutes. It’s a kind of Colcannon, the traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes and cabbage. You could also change that a bit and add some Kale or Swiss Chard in with the cabbage.
You see, the list is pretty much endless.
This is the season for cabbage so get yourself a head or two and did I mention it’s quite inexpensive as well? A head goes a long way.
Here’s a recipe adapted from Nigel Slater’s wonderful cookbook, Tender. The cloves and bay leaf give it a smoky, bacon taste, delicious and perfect comfort food on a chilly winter night. Filling enough for a simple dinner with a green salad, or as a side dish to a roast.
Gratin of Cabbage, Cheese and Cream
2 cups milk
2 bay leaves
2 TBL butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated gruyere or mild cheddar cheese
1 medium sized white cabbage
breadcrumbs, a large handful
Bring the milk, cloves and bay leaves almost to a boil, then turn off the heat. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour. Cook for a few minutes, pour in the milk and stir until thickened. Whisk recommended. Season with salt, pepper and a grating of fresh nutmeg.
Stir in the heavy cream and cheese.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring some salted water to a boil. Cut the cabbage in half, and then into thick wedge-like slices. Add it to the boiling water for a few minutes just to wilt. Drain.
Grease a shallow ovenproof dish, lay the cabbage pieces in it, and pour over the sauce.. Top with the breadcrumbs.
Bake about 45 minutes, until crust is golden and edges bubbly.