Irish eyes may smile to see a plate of boiled cabbage (it’s their version of comfort food, after all), but for the rest of us, that particular preparation gives cabbage a bad rap. So we’ve taken the versatile, nourishing vegetable and given it a five-recipe makeover, using inspiration from cabbage-cooking traditions worldwide. From a French-style salad to a homey German noodle dish, with an Italian calzone, a spicy Asian stir-fry, and an oh-so-American casserole thrown in for good measure, the results are recipes that even avowed cabbage-haters will love.
1 cup chopped raw cabbage contains:
- 22 calories
- 1 g protein
- 2 g fiber
- 68 mcg Vitamin K
- 33 mg Vitamin C
Don’t know your napa from your savoy? Here’s how to choose the right head for any recipe.
Savoy cabbage Loose, crinkly leaves that go from dark emerald on the outside to pale green toward the center of the head have a mild, sweet taste. Check the base for yellowing (a sign of age). Because its leaves are so pliable, savoy cabbage is the best choice for recipes that call for whole leaves, but it can also be substituted for green or red cabbage.
Green, red, or purple cabbage This tight-headed standard holds up well in marinades (think slaw) and slow cooking. Look for compact heads with no separating leavesa sign the cabbage is past its prime. For a crisp-tender texture and no cabbage-y smell in the kitchen, limit cooking time to 10 minutes. Adding 1 teaspoon of vinegar to the cooking liquid for red cabbage will keep the color bright.
Napa cabbage Its ruffled, pale, delicately flavored leaves are tender enough to stand in for lettuce but sturdy enough to stand up to the heat of a stir-fry. To preserve freshness, peel and slice only the leaves you need to use, then store the rest of the head in the fridge.
get the recipes
Red Cabbage Salad with Pears and Walnuts
Think cabbage salad has to be a slaw? Think again. Thinly sliced cabbage heads make a crunchy alternative to lettuce. This salad should be served as soon as it is made so the cabbage retains its vibrant color. To make pomegranate syrup, simmer 1 cup pomegranate juice withmore
Cabbage Casserole with Leeks, Ricotta, and Pine Nuts
Removing excess moisture from the vegetables and cheese before assembling helps hold this dish together.more
Hot and Sour Napa Cabbage
This classic Chinese side dish can be ready in less than 15 minutes, slicing time included. It goes well with milder non-Asian main dishes too.more
These tasty turnovers are a modern interpretation of Italian comfort food. Find the pizza dough in the refrigerated section of your supermarket.more
Egg Noodles with Cabbage and Chard
Combining green cabbage with Swiss chard adds sweetness and color to this homey recipe. Season with salt at the end of cooking to keep the cabbage from turning soggy.more