Follow-up to Autumn Produce.
Cabbage part of the Brassicaceae (or Cruciferae) family and is derived from a leafy wild mustard plant, native to the Mediterranean region. It was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans for its medicinal properties. Cabbages keep well and were a common winter vegetable before refrigeration and long-distance shipping of produce.
There are some four hundred different varieties of cabbage to choose from these days-- varying in shape from round to conical-- with flat or curly, tight or loose leaves in green, white, red, and purple colors.
Savoy and Napa cabbage have crinkly leaves and are the most tender and sweet. The firmer texture of standard green, red, and purple cabbages is better for slaw.
I like to use Napa cabbage when I make Korean Beef on Fiery Cabbage, though of course regular green cabbage works fine.
Napa cabbage also makes a delicious salad. Once separated from the ribs, the pale green leaves are delicate and mild. Tossed with a lemony dressing, creamy avocado, and tiny tomatoes, they make a great cold-weather salad.
Napa Cabbage, Tomato, and Avocado Salad
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 (1-lb) Napa cabbage
1 (6- to 8-oz) firm-ripe avocado
3/4 lb cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Whisk together the lemon zest, juice, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until smooth, then add oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified.
Tear enough cabbage leaves from ribs into bite-size pieces to measure 7 cups (don't throw away the ribs! Use them and any remaining leaves in the Fiery Cabbage recipe above).
Quarter the avocado lengthwise, then pit and peel it. Cut it into 1/2-inch pieces.
Toss the cabbage leaves, avocado, and tomatoes in a large bowl with just enough dressing to coat.
Red cabbage with red wine
⅓ cup Raisins
1 cup Ribera del Duero wine
(or any full-bodied red wine)
¼ cup Olive oil
⅓ cup Pine nuts
1 Red cabbage head - (2 lbs); thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In an small bowl let the raisins and wine soak until raisins have plumped, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the pine nuts and saute until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and saute briefly while tossing, about 1 minute. Add the reserved red wine and raisins, and season with salt. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan tightly and simmer for about 30 minutes.