Cabbage is for more than coleslaw and borscht—find great ways to use cabbage from around the country.
Let’s call it like it is: cabbage is a miracle. Like many of its brassicas cousins, it gets sweeter and more delicious in the cold. Frost-kissed, it’s called. In home gardens, it can be harvested well after snow has fallen; in temperate areas, it can be grown year-round; in warmer climes, it grows through the winter.
And for all that growing flexibility, it’s chock full of fiber and valuable vitamin C. Plus, its range of culinary uses is stunning—from crunchy slaws to rich soups to cunning savory rolls.
Cabbage Salads and Slaws
Raw cabbage is a great way to add crunch to salads, cut out a quarter of a small cabbage, slice it up, and toss it in the salad of your choice for a bit more heft than other salads leaves. Or keep the focus on the cabbage with this two cabbage salad or, on cooler days, give a brown butter wilted cabbage salad a try or cook the cabbage first before tossing it with a gingery dressing in this grilled sesame ginger cabbage. For more of a meal, chicken salad on cabbage slaw includes a bit of kick from a chile and some crunch from chopped peanuts.
Cutting a head of cabbage into wedges, using the core to hold those pieces together, is a fun way to serve it. You can serve them raw drizzled with a blue cheese dressing (yum), or try roasted cabbage wedges or charred cabbage, which you can make on the grill when weather is nice and in a cast iron skillet when it’s not.
Keeping on the all-cabbage theme, this butter-braised cabbage is great as a super simple dish, but includes scads of variations to mix it up. For a more liquidy braise, try this braised cabbage with carrot, garlic, and bay leaves.
Tossing some chopped or shredded cabbage into a soup is a great way to pile in the vegetables. Of course, you can also purposefully make a cabbage-centric soup. All things being equal, you may want to start with the best cabbage soup, so named because it’s a basic template from which you can create the cabbage soup of your dreams. If you already know your dream-soup includes potatoes and bacon, then cabbage potato bacon soup is for you. Want beans? Try cabbage bean bacon soup, which includes fennel, leek, and kale as well. For something even heartier, try French onion-soup style cabbage soup topped with bread and cheese. Soft cabbage soup includes rice and garlic, with a splash of vinegar to brighten things up.
Cabbage has some heft to it. When mixed with the right ingredients, it can be wonderfully filling. This cabbage mushroom pie is an excellent example, as is this cabbage beef potato casserole with sage and rosemary. Pasta shells stuffed with cabbage and caramelized onions is a reminder that food need not be pretty and colorful to be delicious. For something a bit more vibrant, try this stir-fried savoy cabbage with pork.
Sauerkraut and Kimchi
Fermented cabbage is hands-down the best way to store an abundance of the season. This recipe for traditional sauerkraut comes from Edible Milwaukee, a city known for great German food, so you know it’s a keeper. Or try wild fermented sauerkraut. Know that in either case, the kraut will have a stage during which it won’t smell great and plan where to ferment it accordingly.
Even easier to make at home is Korean spicy fermented cabbage. See how easy it is to make kimchi here.