When you think about cabbage, you might not consider it to be the most inspiring ingredient. Many of us have bad memories of over-boiled, limp and bland cabbage being served up in school canteens or on dinners as a child, and maybe that was enough to put you off for life. But it shouldn’t be the case, cabbage is an awesome ingredient! There are lots of different varieties, it’s cheap, incredibly healthy, versatile and with the right recipes it can be full of exciting flavour and texture. Here are five different ways to cook with cabbage.
Bacon and cabbage is a match made in heaven. The salty, smokiness of the bacon adds seasoning, depth and dimension to the cabbage, and there are a number of ways you can pair these ingredients. How about roasted cabbage wedges with bacon vinaigrette, or fried cabbage with crispy bacon bits? Irish bacon with cabbage is the original, quintessential St. Patrick’s Day dish, and is delicious with the addition of a parsley sauce. Whether you roast, fry or boil your cabbage and add a little butter, you won’t go far wrong by adding some form of bacon to it.
Turn it into coleslaw
When you think about cabbage it’s probably the frilly green varieties that first pop into your head. But don’t overlook the small, compact white and red cabbage varieties. These are also tasty cooked in a number of ways, but possibly the best is leaving them completely raw! First, slice red, white (or a combination of both) very finely. You can do this by hand with a sharp knife, with a manual grater or by using the slice or grater attachment on your food processor.
Use it as wraps
Lots of cultures use cabbage leaves as wraps in their cuisine, so take this idea and get inspired! You could make Asian style cabbage wraps, stuffing savoy cabbage leaves with ground meat, water chestnuts and rice. You could make Polish Golumpki which uses similar ingredients (ground pork, beef, and rice) but served with a tomato sauce. Or go with the Turkish Lahana sarması which adds paprika and chilli flakes to the meat and rice filling. You could pretty much add whatever you liked, it’s a keto, paleo, gluten free, low fat and nutritious alternative to bread wraps!
Make bubble and squeak
Bubble and squeak is a hearty and comforting dish common in the UK and Ireland made of potatoes and cabbage, mixed together and fried in butter- usually with the addition of a fried egg on top. This simple base recipe can be tweaked and added to however you like, with any extra meat, herbs and spices.
Find different varieties
It’s easy to make a beeline to the same old foods and ingredients when we go grocery shopping, but make an effort to look around. If you visit markets and grocery stores specific to different cultures then you’ll come across new things to try. If you spot any interesting cabbage varieties, give them a go! You might find a new favourite.