What do I do with… Cabbages

The many colours, shapes, sizes, flavours and textures of cabbage should be celebrated far more.

From the crisp and crunchy white cabbage to the colourful and ornamental Savoy, and purple and curly kale, cabbages have been a staple throughout the world for centuries. Inexpensive and easy to cultivate, the versatile vegetable is quick to prepare and cook, is high in fibre, and contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals.

Whilst they can be eaten raw, methods from boiling, steaming and sautéing to pickling and fermenting bring out so much flavour. For example, Kimchi is made by fermenting cabbage in spiced vinegar – simply shred the cabbage, place in a bowl and sprinkle with a tablespoon of salt. Leave for about an hour to draw out any moisture. Rinse well under cold running water, then drain and dry thoroughly. To make the spiced vinegar – mix crushed garlic, grated ginger, chilli sauce and a little agave syrup with rice or white wine vinegar. Stir through the shredded cabbage with coarsely grated carrots and radishes, and finely shredded spring onions. Delicious served straight away, the flavour intensifies over time and this can be kept in the fridge for a couple of weeks to add to steamed rice, sautéed vegetables, tofu or shredded barbecue beef.

Take care not to overcook brassicas as this depletes their flavour and health benefits. Simply cook curly kale quickly in stir fries with a dash of soy sauce, or sauté Savoy cabbage in butter and garlic and throw in a handful of toasted pine nuts. Roasting meanwhile accentuates sweetness with a little charring. Either cut into quarters or cut slices through a whole red cabbage and place in a roasting tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle over garlic and rosemary, and cook until tender and starting to brown. Add sausages and leeks for a tasty midweek meal.

If you have any cabbage leftover, there’s always colcannon or bubble and squeak too! Bring on those winter nights.


Food stylist and home economist Linda Lee has more than 30 years’ experience developing, writing and styling recipes for some of the world’s biggest food brands. www.instagram.com/lindaleefoodstylist

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