Vegetable Wise: Cabbage
JupiterimagesIf the only time you eat cabbage is when it's drenched with mayonnaise in coleslaw or boiled with corned beef for St. Patrick's Day, it's time to broaden your horizons. This surprisingly versatile vegetable just begs to be used more creatively -- so we've come up with some other options for you. Like most of its Brassica relatives, cabbage is a nutritional powerhouse. Rich in vitamin C and fiber, it also supplies isothiocyanates -- chemicals that amp up the body's natural detoxification systems. Studies suggest that cabbage may help fight breast, lung, colon and other types of cancer. Since boiling strips away most of its phytonutrients, we like to sauté, steam and even roast it. Our kimchi bypasses the traditional lengthy fermentation process, yet retains all the zest of the original. We've also roasted cabbage with a rich black bean-garlic sauce and made a warm apple-and-cabbage salad with caraway. Our mashed red potatoes with buttery sautéed cabbage is a healthier version of the Irish staple, colcannon. One taste of these dishes and we're sure you'll see those pretty rows of cabbage at the market in a whole new light.
Varieties of Cabbage
Hard white (a.k.a. green) cabbage and red cabbage are delicious raw in coleslaws or cooked in soups, stews and sautés. Mildly flavored, delicate napa (Chinese) cabbage, with ruffled leaves and white ribs, is widely used in Asian cooking. Try it shredded in salads, quick-cooked in stir-fries or slow-cooked in soups or stews. Savoy cabbage is a loosely packed, wrinkled cousin of the common green cabbage. It's our favorite choice for cabbage rolls and is sturdy enough for roasting.
Healthy Cabbage Recipes from EatingWell
- Roasted Savoy Cabbage with Black Bean-Garlic Sauce
- Quick Kimchi
- Warm Red Cabbage Salad
- Warm Apple-Cabbage Slaw
- Italian Peasant Soup with Cabbage Beans and Cheese
- Napa Cabbage Slaw
- Sweet Potato and Cabbage Slaw
- Baked Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Braised Red Cabbage with Chestnuts
- Napa Cabbage & Carrots with Rice Wine-Oyster Sauce
More on Cabbage and CookingSee what Mark Bittman has to say about cabbage and get his cabbage recipes.
Find healthy cauliflower recipes and healthy broccoli recipes.
A mandoline is a great tool for slicing cabbage -- read our article about the best mandolines.
Watch Curtis Stone make Pork Cutlets with Braised Cabbage.
Read about the cabbage soup diet at That's Fit.