The ingredient of the month is cabbage, specifically savoy cabbage. This kind of cabbage is milder, sweeter, and more tender than the traditional green cabbage you will find in Irish corned beef and Korean kimchi. This has made it a favorite among chefs as a way of showcasing winter greens without overpowering the other dishes. It also lacks the sulfur-like odor that other green cabbages have when they are being cooked. Its outside leaves are a deep blue-green and turn paler green toward the heart-like center. These crinkly leaves are wonderful in hearty soups such as minestrone, in meat wraps as the wrapping material, and it is even mild enough to add uncooked to winter salads. Unlike other green and purple cabbages, it does not keep as long. After week in the refrigerator and it will need to be thrown out.
While I am usually not a big fan of cabbage, I do like the milder Savoy. It is the perfect example of the “eat your vegetables” mantra, containing fiber, vitamins and minerals, and may have cancer-fighting properties although more research is needed. As Michael Pollan says, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” I know he approves of the lovely Savoy cabbage.
Happy New Year! I will be back in 2012 with more tips, (mis)adventures, and recipes. May your holidays continue to be happy and bright!