A couple weeks ago I was shopping in the Waverly Farmers Market and I bought a nice head of cabbage from my friends at Eden Farm. I took it home, and over the course of the next week I got three meals out of it. So as Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School would suggest, once again we have proof of cabbage's incredible versatility.
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The first thing I made was an old standard comfort food my parents taught me. It's called cabbage and noodles, and the name is essentially the recipe. Sauté a bunch of cabbage with some shredded onion, mix it up with a bunch of cooked egg noodles, and bake it in the oven for a while. So simple and so good.
The next thing I made, and Jerry loves this, was some pickled cabbage to go as an accompaniment to some grilled shrimp. Again, so simple: just shred a little bit of cabbage, and put it in a bowl of half water half apple cider vinegar and toss in a few spices like carraway seed, turmeric, peppercorns and a sprinkling of sea salt and a couple tablespoons of sugar. Let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes, and bang, it's done. The amazing thing is that every single added flavor is captured perfectly.
My final inspiration was to fry up some cabbage with onions, sausage, shallots and a few spices like cumin and fennel. A nice slow cook on the stove top gave us a very tasty dish that was marvelous served over a bed of bulgur wheat.
Again, this is nothing fancy or complicated, just good home cooking. I was inspired to look up a few more recipes that would incorporate spring cabbage, and it was easy to find some.
How about shredding some red cabbage, pickling it, and then using it in spring rolls? So easy to do, you just mix your cabbage up with some chopped up spring onions, carrots, shrimp and minced mushrooms, and you've got a stuffing for your spring rolls. Incidentally, spring roll wrappers can be a little frustrating to work with, so use up a few of them to get your technique down right.
We're all trying to eat a lot more salad these days, so here's something you can do with the rest of that red cabbage. Shred the cabbage and mix it up with sweet vidalia onions, apples, green grapes and crushed pistachios. Toss the salad in a nice light rice wine vinegar dressing and you're good to go.
It's no accident that cabbage makes its way into tons of Chinese recipes.
Here's an idea for a stir-fry. Chop up some Napa cabbage and stir-fry with green onions, peppers, celery, carrots, peeled shrimp, and sprouts. Season the mixture with a nice stir-fry sauce and serve on bed of Chinese noodles. Good healthy eating!