Monday, July 14, 2008

What Did You Do With that Cabbage?

I LOVE my CSA, but there are two vegetables that I always have trouble using. Beets and cabbage. Last week we got a cabbage in our CSA box (or maybe it was two weeks ago -- at least they keep well) and I still have about 1/3 of it left. We don't like regular cole slaw or sauerkraut in our family, so I sent out a request for suggestions to our yahoo group (send an e-mail to to subscribe). I suspect if I lived in Massachusetts, where I grew up, the bulk of responses would be different. And most people would say, "Boiled Dinner." They didn't say that here (which is great, because I don't like it), but a lot of people recommended a sort of polish/ hungarian/ slovakian/ Pittsburgh twist on cabbage -- that is cabbage fried in butter or oil and onions and blended with egg noodles. Here is what Barbara recommended in that vein:

Fry one or two heads of cabbage in a generous amount of butter (onestick? maybe more?). We use our wok. Stir frequently and cook downuntil the cabbage is very soft, brown and sweet. Add noodles, salt,and enjoy! Egg noodles are good, or sometimes my husband'sgrandmother makes her own dumplings, as in this recipe:

Of course, there are cabbage rolls. Here is Kathryn's dad's recipe for these -- called pigs in blankets:

2lb hamburger (cooked)
2 eggs (you can also use applesauce which makes it sweeter)
1 cup rice (cooked)
1 cup saurkraut (not for me, thanks)
8 oz tomato sauce
8 oz diced tomatoes (sometimes I use spiced ones)
1/2 onion ( i use flakes sometimes)

Mix these all together

1 head cabbage

Cut the center out of the cabbage and put into a pot of boiling water so the core hole is in the water -
Boil for 5- 7 minutes depending on how large the cabbage is.
Layer or wrap the meat mixure in the leaves and place in a crock pot or pressure cooker.
If you wrap it, slice the big leaves down a little so they are not so thick.

after you layer the mixture or wrap all the pigs. cook for at 300 for 2 1/2 hours. I usually like to cook it alittle more by at least a 1/2 hour, it helps soften the cabbage even more.

Then there are the variations on cole slaw, i.e. cabbage salad.

Here is Jesse Sharrad (aka Corduroy Orange)'s advice for that:

As far as regular cole slaw goes, i've got some hints for making it a bit more interesting. I tend to use a mix of 1/3 cabbage, 1/3 carrots, and 1/3 turnips. the other veggies add a bit of variety to the flavors. The last batch i made, i crumbled blue cheese into, and definitely enjoyed that. I never use "cole slaw dressing" out of a jar--it just winds up tasting like it came out of a jar. While I often use mayo, I don't always--sometimes, I'll just use a vinaigrette (balsamic is nice). Even when using mayo, I add plenty of citrus--lime or lemon juice adds a pleasant touch. And what really makes the cole slaw worth eating is a big old heap of pulled pork underneath it, inside of a toasted hamburger bun.

I have to say, though, that my favorite cabbage bent is the American version of Asian way. I grew up eating cabbage in stir fry -- with celery, carrots, peas, broccoli, onions (and I'd add garlic though my mother can't) with soy sauce and ginger over rice (sorry, the last 3 ingredients are not local). There's also Asian Slaw, which is basically the same thing, but raw. Here's a recipe for that.

Combine 3 cups shredded cabbage, 1 cup snow peas, 1/2 cup shredded carrots, 3 tablespoons onions

Combine (with wisk, or shake): 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/8 tsp. pepper

Pour over cabbage mixture and toss to coat.

Hope this has helped you find a way to use and enjoy your cabbage too!


loriek said...

I made your Asian slaw tonight (I'm also on your local list). Fabulous!

I joined WeightWatchers last week and it was perfect for the program and for using up all the Penn's Corner CSA cabbage.

Thank you!

Ehrrin said...

I haven't made this yet, but this blogger is my favorite cookbook author and all-around recipe guru, and it looks fantastic! I got some cabbage in my CSA again this week, and think I'll give it a spin.

Deanna said...

It seems like we have a few things in common - I am a fellow Pittsburgher, mother of 3 and I also belong to a CSA and try to eat local as much as possible. (see my latest posting on I too have trouble using all the veggies in my box, particularly the cabbage and kale. I try to use them all but I always think, if I can't use it, it'll make great compost!

Cindy Green said...

ehrinn -- which blogger is your favorite cookbook author?

marzipan mom -- your blog looks great. I was thinking of trying to make pickles this year and am glad to see your recipe and advice!


Anonymous said...

Your raw Asian slaw recipe at the end of the recipe seems a lot like an eastern Pennsylvania dish called Pepper Cabbage. Yummy.

So, where have you been???? I miss your blog.


Anonymous said...

NEAT cabbage recipe

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John at PIT Parking said...

I love cabbage, and in fact I don't eat burger without a coleslaw.