Dinspiration: 12 Actually Exciting Ideas For Cabbage

Before we get to cabbage (I know...the anticipation), I wanted to let you know that on Tuesday, November 10th, from 4pm - 5pm ET I'll be doing a live (virtual) event all about Thanksgiving 2020. The event is a collaboration with Knowable (the company that just launched my audiocourse, How To Eat Now), and will hopefully be both fun and useful. We'll talk about the unique challenges of Thanksgiving in 2020, how to de-stress the holiday in this unprecedentedly stressful year, how to shop, cook, host, etc. Anyone in the audience can ask me whatever they want, which I love. You can register for the event here. It's totally free, though a donation to support One Fair Wage is always appreciated. I hope you'll join (and I'll remind you about it again on Tuesday). Now, on to cabbage.

Cabbage has never been the sexiest of vegetables, but damn, is it useful, versatile, and delicious. It's something I want in my fridge at all times throughout fall and winter, not only because it keeps for a long time (no quick-thinking required), but because, depending on how you cook it, it can be rich and luxurious (total cold weather comfort), or fresh and bright (a perfect change of pace).

To celebrate the flexibility of cabbage (okay, maybe "commend" is a more suitable word for such a humble vegetable), here are 12 recipes that I turn to throughout the season. They're broken into four categories: Braised, Raw, Soup and Stir-Fried. I suppose you could call the raw ones "slaw," though none of them bear any resemblance to the stuff that's drowning in mayo and sugar. The other three methods here do apply heat, ranging from the hot blast of the skillet to the gentleness of a braise to a quick bath in a bubbling broth. Taste often for doneness; the key is to let the cabbage soften and lose its raw edge while still retaining some of its crunch. (For whatever it's worth, and if you're so inclined, cabbage is also really incredible on the grill.)

I’ve made suggestions for which type of cabbage to use in which recipes, but you should feel free to substitute. No matter what kind of cabbage you buy, look for tightly packed heads; they should feel heavy for their size and not have any loose or yellowing leaves. If you buy a good one, you can keep it in your fridge for at least a week (often longer) while you decide what to do with it. And if you're not a "cabbage person" (many of us probably aren't), consider experimenting with it a little before winter really sets in. You'll thank yourself later.

—Mark

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Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.