Valley Bounty: Cabbage
By Margaret Christie of Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA).
Cabbage is an underrated vegetable. Even the attention it gets in March is often unflattering—but don’t be fooled! Cabbage stores beautifully and is a great local winter vegetable option. More important, it’s delicious, supplemented with just a few simple ingredients. To roast, for example, core a cabbage and slice into wedges. Drizzle with oil (I like coconut) and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast in a hot oven until soft but crispy around the edges.
Farmers’ markets, farm stores, and winter CSA shares are the best place to find local cabbage this time of year. Our Find Local This Winter page is a great place to find all the details on these options.
Winter cabbage is crisp and firm and can certainly be made into traditional raw cabbage recipes, like cole slaw, or fermented to make sauerkraut. You’ll find links to recipes for a couple of slaws from The Kitchen Garden and CISA staffer Kristen Wilmer’s sauerkraut instructions here.
During these raw, muddy March days, you might prefer a hot option, but many people are less familiar with delicious ways to cook cabbage. Here’s a full recipe for simple roasted cabbage. I think it often takes more than 20 minutes, and often turn the oven up to 425° for 10 minutes at the end to make sure that the edges get brown and crispy.
Of course, you can add bacon to roasted cabbage.
And here’s a recipe for braised cabbage with butter, from Alice Waters via Berkshire-based food writer Alana Chernila.
Want more? Try Mark Bittman’s Dozen Recipes for Slaw-less Cabbage.