What to do with cabbage

Whether it’s a January King, a Sweetheart or a Savoy cabbage (or many others…) these brave vegetables bring welcome greenery in Winter! Cabbage is totally underrated, probably because not everyone knows how versatile they are, so here’s our run down of all the ways to cook these seasonal beauties.

The cabbage repertoire

  • Boiling cabbage is probably the most known way of cooking it – just please don’t overcook it! A couple of minutes in salted boiling water will be enough. Dressed with butter, salt and pepper, or lemon and olive oil, its an easy peasy side dish.
  • Lovely in stews, curries and soups, cabbage will wilt down in any liquid, and balances out the sweet roots we have available during winter. One of our favourites is Beetroot and cabbage borscht where all the roots are stir-fried before adding the cabbage as we want to keep its crunchiness. Another soup is this Leek and parsnip soup with cabbage and mushroom stir fry where you make the stir fry separately and add it as a garnish to your blended soup.
  • Roasting cabbage is easy, requiring almost no prep. No shredding, no stirring and yet you have a perfect side dish to accompany anything in around 25 minutes. This particularly suits varieties with tender leaves like sweetheart or Chinese cabbage. You can bring different tastes to your roasted cabbage – Sichuan roasted cabbage is the fast track to Asia with Sichuan peppercorns, try nuts and parmesan, or stay simple with salt and black pepper. We tried a fusion of tastes like cumin, paprika, garlic and soy sauce. It works really well!
  • Stir-fried cabbage is another easy way to enjoy it. Tender summer varieties, like sweetheart doesn’t need much cooking, whereas white and red cabbage will need about 15 min (and possibly a splash of water). Onions, leeks, garlic and mushrooms go very well in a cabbage stir fry. Adding beans, pasta or noodles makes it into a full meal.
  • Stuffing cabbage leaves is a good way to use big outer leaves of  varieties like January king and Savoy. Blanch the whole leaves in boiling water to make them easier to fold and roll up. This cooking method is a good opportunity to mix grains and pulses like rice, quinoa, beans and lentils with veg and present it with originality. Here is a recipe for Vegetarian stuffed cabbage leaves (which can be easily adapted for meat eaters too!)
  • The other way round – Stuffing things with cabbage also works really well! Try this Stuffed squash with cabbage and cheese.
  • Pancakes – In Japanese kitchens, cabbage is used for yummy and healthy pancakes
  • Eating cabbage raw! Nothing beats cabbage, carrot, celery and apple slaw in winter! Crush some garlic, sprinkle with parsley and dress with loads of lemon and olive oil. Massage your raw shredded cabbage with salt – it brings out their juices and makes them less crunchy and more easily digested. Alternatively, just let your salad rest for about an hour before eating. This Red cabbage, carrot, fennel and orange salad with cumin and mustard dressing is an absolute winner when time is short and you need to freshen up those winter days with vibrant colour and taste.
  • And finally, when in a mood for something traditional, remember coleslaw, (the original slaw!) is always an option…

Cabbage loves

Cumin, paprika, black pepper, caraway seeds, sage, parsley, ginger, chilli, garlic, cheddar,  butter, potatoes,  chestnuts, apple, carrots, celery, mushrooms, chickpeas, beans, rice, pork, bacon, smoked meat, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, beer