The Cabbage cheap, humble and delicious, what more could you ask for in a vegetable? As it turns out quite a bit.
From Pierogi to Kimchi, cultures around the world having been cooking, baking and preserving with it for centuries. Well known for its many health benefits. Cabbage has been used to treat cancer, constipation, ulcers, headache, excess weight, skin disorders, eczema, inflammation, jaundice, scurvy, varicose veins, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart diseases, ageing, high cholesterol, Alzheimer's and the list goes on.
Not only is it good for overall health. With it many nutrients such as Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and so on. The Cabbage is wonderful at purifying the body. The amazing detoxifying properties can be attributed to its high content of Sulfur and Vitamin C. Allowing it to clean the blood, remove toxins and repair cells. With more Vitamin C than can be found in any orange. It is one of the best things to eat too ward of those pesky free radicals, keeping you youthful and dewy. Be sure not to overcook to retain all the health benefits.
The many varieties of this Brassica vegetable include Green, Red, Savoy, Kohlrabi, Bok Choy, Chinese, Brussel Sprouts and more. Each of the many varieties offers a unique flavor and texture. The cabbage you know best Red and Green have a more distinctive taste and more crunch when compared to Savoy, which exhibits a delicate texture and taste. The Choy family of Cabbage tends to have a milder flavor. Chinese cabbage, with its wonderful ruffled texture is best eaten raw. While many profess to hate Brussel Sprouts I have witnessed many converts. Who delighted at the tasty vegetable, lightly sautéed with butter, garlic and bacon. Kohlrabi may look scary but this mild and sweet variety is truly delicious. I highly encourage the sampling of as many varieties as possible.
Cabbage stores well in your root cellar bedded and covered with straw. Varieties with looser leaves should be wrapped and stored in the crisper for 1-2 weeks. But of course all things are best when at the peak of freshness. The Cabbage season typically starts late summer and goes into the winter months, with fall being the peak in season.
When choosing cabbage firm, dense with shiny, crisp, colorful leaves free of cracks, bruises, and blemishes is what you should typically look for and as I say when in doubt go with your gut. If it looks healthy it probably is and the same for the latter. Cabbage begins to lose its valuable nutrients when cut so use it right away and avoid precut. Cut cabbage will keep anywhere from 2-7 days (depending on variety) when wrapped and kept in the fridge. As always clean and dry your produce before storing.
Sausage Cabbage Bake
I love all Cabbage cook many, many different ways. Although if pressed this would have to be my favorite.
This is ultimate Comfort Food. Hot, simple, filling and delicious… of course the presents to cheese doesn’t hurt. You will need the largest deepest baking dish you’ve got for this. I use my deep lasagna pan. Watch out it feeds an Army!
12 slices of a Chewy, Crusty Bread, Sliced ½ thick (I typically use sourdough)
1 head of Green Cabbage, washed dried and chopped
1 pound of sliced Provolone
½ cup grated Parmesan (please no powdered shelf stable crap)
1 ½ pounds ground Sausage
1 small to medium Onion, sliced thin
2 cups Chicken Stock
4 cloves minced Garlic
½ cup of butter, softened
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Cut the crusts from the bread slices, so they are just square, arrange on a baking sheet, and toast the slices, on both sides, until lightly browned. Remove and let cool. Meanwhile heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion abit of salt and pepper and sauté till translucent. Add garlic and chopped cabbage, season with salt and pepper. The idea is to get rid of the bulk in the cabbage but not to overcook it. Place cabbage mixture in bowl and set aside. In the same skillet brown the sausage.
Use 1 tablespoon butter to grease your baking dish. At this point you should be ready to put it all together. Place a layer of bread down in the baking dish. Fill any gaps with trimmed pieces. Spread half of the cabbage mixture over the bread. Lay half of the provolone on top of the cabbage, followed by half of the sausage and dot with butter. Sprinkle on a third of the grated cheese. Repeat process and top with remaining bread. If the final layer rises over the baking dish, press down gently to compress. Slowly pour the stock all over the bread and down the insides of the pan, so everything is moistened. Sprinkle on the rest of the grated cheese.
Tent the dish with foil. Be sure it does not touch the cheese. Place dish on baking sheet and place in oven. Bake 350 for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly remove foil, continue to bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden. Serve piping hot and Enjoy!