- A Cabbage
- A few links of sausage, preferably Italian spiced style (OPTIONAL – this tastes great with tempeh as well, or just with cabbage)
- White or Apple Cider Vinegar
- Red Wine
- Anise/Fennel Seeds
- Butter — a few pats, or however much you like
This is a meal in a pan, and takes about 15 minutes total. My measurements are not highly precise, and they don’t really need to be, since it depends on your taste and how much liquid is needed to keep the skillet simmering. Thinly slice the whole cabbage and set aside. Slice up and brown the sausage in a large skillet–don’t cook it all the way, though. Then throw in the cabbage and pour in about a quarter cup of the vinegar. Let the cabbage soften, mixing every now and then, for about 5 minutes. Now pour in about a half cup of wine, or however much suits your fancy. Add a healthy sprinkle of anise seeds and a few pinches of salt. Then add in a few pats of butter and mix all well. Let simmer until the cabbage is nicely softened and the sausage fully cooked. It’s fine to add water, too, if you need more liquid but don’t want more vinegar or wine.
STIR FRY CHINESE CABBAGE
We love to stir-fry napa cabbage with onions and tofu or chicken, typically dressed with sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic (you could use your spring garlic) and ginger (fresh or powdered, whatever you have handy). It’s a simple way to feature a delicious green. Consider throwing in some braising mix to spice it up!
You can add a variety of vegetables along with the Napa/Chinese cabbage to make kimchi. You can look up different recipes online, many of which are less complicated than the one below. But I am going to post this one in particular, from “Wild Fermentation” by Sandor Katz, because it’s a lot of fun. Kimchi is really good for digestion–if I have an unsettled stomach, I go straight for the kimchi, and it always helps.
Timeframe: 1 week or longer
Ingredients (for 1 quart):
1 pound Chinese/napa cabbage
1 daikon radish or a few red radishes
1 to 2 carrots
1 to 2 onions
3 to 4 cloves of garlic (or try scapes)
3 to 4 hot chilies (or more, depending on how hot you like things)
3 tablespoons (or more) fresh grated gingerroot
1. Mix a brine of about 4 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of salt. Stir well to thoroughly dissolve salt. The bring should taste good and salty.
2. Coarsely chop the cabbage, slice the radish and carrots, and let the vegetables soak in the brine, covered by a plate or other weight to keep the vegetables submerged, until soft, a few hours or overnight. Add other vegetables to the brine, such as snow peas, seaweeds, anything you like.
3. Prepare spices: Grate the ginger; chop the garlic and onion; remove seeds from the chilies and chop or crush, or throw them in whole. Kimchi can absorb a lot of spice. Experiment with quantities and don’t worry too much about them. Mix spices into a paste. If you wish, you can add fish sauce to the paste. Just check the label to make sure it has no chemical preservatives, which function to inhibit microorganisms.
4. Drain brine off vegetables, reserving brine. Taste vegetables for saltiness. You want them to taste decidedly salty, but not unpleasantly so. If they are too salty, rinse them. If you cannot taste salt, sprinkle with a couple teaspoons of salt and mix.
5. Mix the vegetables with the ginger-chili-onion-garlic paste. Mix everything together thoroughly and stuff it into a clean quart-size jar. Pack it tightly into the jar, pressing down until brine rises. If necessary, add a little bit of the vegetable-soaking brine to submerge the vegetables. Weight the vegetables down with a smaller jar, or a zip-lock bag filled with some brine. Or if you think you can remember to check the kimchi every day, you can just use your (clean!) fingers to push the vegetables back under the brine. Cover the jar to keep out dust and flies!
6. Ferment in your kitchen or other warm place. Taste the kimchi every day. After about a week of fermentation, when it tastes ripe, move it to the refrigerator. Yum!
Just in case you were feeling sick of cabbage, here’s a great summery way to enjoy this week’s bounty!
- 1 head cabbage, cored and cut into wedges
- 1/4 cup butter (or less, if you prefer)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional several cloves garlic
- Optional cayenne powder, to taste
1) Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil grate.
2) lay out sheets of tin foil and place cabbage wedges on top. Put a portion of butter on each and season to with remaining ingredients. The simplest way to do this is to do the entire cabbage in one piece of foil, but doing wedges in individual sheets allows for customizing each for personal tastes.
3) Fold the foil over and wrap the edges up to seal. Then wrap the entire unit in a second sheet of foil.
4) Grill for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Turn the packages every 10 minutes.
COLE SLAW WITH PECANS AND SPICY DRESSING
(Note, this is a more complicated cole slaw recipe that we wanted to give for inspiration. There are plenty of more basic recipes out there if you’d prefer something simple.)
- 1 head napa cabbage, shredded
- 4 carrots, shredded
- 2 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- Leaves from 1 bunch fresh mint, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Combine the cabbage, carrots, apples, onion, and pecans in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands and set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together the mustard, sugar, mayonnaise, ground chipotle, and lemon juice until blended. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss well to coat. Taste again for seasoning, then mound onto a platter and garnish with mint leaves.
SHREDDED BEET-CABBAGE SALAD
- 1 cup shredded beet
- 1-2 cup shredded carrot
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
Steam separately until barely tender (about 5 minutes). Let cool to room temperature. Arrange on plates and dress with your favorite dressing (or use this delicious tahini dressing: 1/2 cup tahini, 1/2 cup oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup soy sauce, and water).
AU GRATIN CABBAGE
- 2 cups cabbage
- 1/2 cup carrots
- 1/3 cup green onions
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp cheese (shredded)
Saute cabbage, carrots, and green onions until crisp with oil in frying pan. Transfer to baking dish.
Combine milk, egg, and shredded cheese. Pour over vegetables. Garnish with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.