Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December Recipe Round Up: Savoy Cabbage

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.

For this variation on the Asian peanut slaw, Hubby swapped the peanuts for peanut butter, giving a wonderfully creamy texture to compliment the crunch of the savoy and purple cabbage. This is one of my favorite winter vegetable recipes thus far. We went with the pork as the recipe recommended, but chicken or tofu can be an easy substitute. Forgo the meat, and this is a delicious vegetable side. We will definitely make this again when our purple cabbage is ready to eat!
Hubby loves to substitute using on hand ingredients. This time he swapped the prosciutto for spicy Italian sausage. He cooked down the chicken broth and made more of a savoy cabbage, white bean, and sausage chili as opposed to the soup - very hearty and spicy! For vegetarians, remove the meat and swap the chicken broth for vegetable - the vegetables and herbs are hearty enough to carry the dish. Perfect for a cold, dark winter night!


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!

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