27 March 2024

Now that St. Patrick’s Day is over, it is likely that you have some cabbage sitting in the fridge and looking lonely.  Cabbage is actually a rather versatile vegetable and can be incorporated into a casserole, served as a side, raw or cooked, a salad, or a soup.

When you are shopping, look for firm, heavy heads with a good green color, unless you are shopping for red or purple cabbage, then…well.

There are over 400 varieties of cabbage, not to mention related braccia like brussel sprouts.  Here are some basics:

  • Green – This is the most common variety and it looks very similar to a head of lettuce. When cooked, its peppery flavor gives way to a sweetness.
  • Red or Purple – These are less tender than other types. Its color makes it a striking addition to your plate.  However, remember that glorious color will probably bleed into the other ingredients.  If it turns blue, add a little acid (lime juice, vinegar, wine) and it will return to its natural hue.
  • Savoy – Wrinkled leaves and is probably the most tender.
  • Napa – Sometimes called Chinese cabbage, this has oblong leaves with frills on the edges and thick stems. This is softer and sweeter than other choices.

cabbage, recipe

Fried Cabbage


  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika



  • In a large stockpot, cook bacon until crisp. Add onion and garlic and cook until the onion is caramelized.
  • Add cabbage and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika.  Reduce heat and simmer, occasionally stirring, until cabbage is the desired softness.


Unstuffed Cabbage Roll


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small head cabbage, chopped
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • salt and pepper to taste



  • In a large pot, cook and stir beef and onions until beef is cooked. Drain and discard grease.
  • Add cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, garlic, and season to taste.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook until cabbage is desired degree of tenderness.


Pepper Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ½ small head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste



  • Heat wok or large skilled and add oil. Saute garlic very briefly and then add ground beef. Cook until beef is evenly brown.  Drain excess fat.
  • Stir in cabbage and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender and beef is fully cooked.
  • Mix cornstarch and water and add to the skillet. Season to taste.
  • Cook and stir until sauce is thickened.


Napa Cabbage Salad


  • 3 cups napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon oil
  • 1 tablespoon pistachio oil, walnut oil, hazelnut oil, or olive oil
  • ½ cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon basil, finely sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts etc., chopped



  • In a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest and lemon juice. Slowly drizzle oil and whisk constantly until well combined.
  • In a large bowl toss together cabbage, lettuce, parsley, and basil. Add dressing.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Top with chopped nuts.

Ham and Savoy Cabbage Soup


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces of ham, diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 ½ pounds red potatoes (with skin), diced
  • 4 springs thyme
  • ½ large head Savoy cabbage, cored and cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • salt and pepper to taste



  • Heat oil in heavy-bottomed pot. Add onion and cook until soft.  Add ham and cook for a few minutes.  Add chicken stock and potatoes (be sure potatoes are completely covered).  Add thyme and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are cooked but not mushy. Remove thyme stems.
  • Add cabbage and mix well. Bring back to a boil.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer until cabbage is desired softness.
  • Mix water and cornstarch and slowly add to the soup. Mix well and cook until liquid is thickened.
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