This week some of you will have Savoy cabbage in your bags, here are 5 ideas for cooking with it, from Lee Greens Packer Pip
1. The simplest option is to cut your Savoy in half, composting any gnarly outside leaves. Run it under the tap to wash off any soil, bugs or bits. Half a cabbage is usually ok for 2-3 people. Quarter and finely shred with a sharp knife. Pop the shredded cabbage into a lightly oiled wide pan (with a lid) and steam it for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat - just using the water from the leaves. Keep a close eye on it. Add a tiny splash of water if it starts to dry out - just enough to stop the cabbage from sticking. Turn off the heat and toss in a generous knob of butter, or some olive oil. Add black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
I think this is the very best way to prepare my favourite pointed Spring cabbage too – it’s ready when it becomes translucent. Simply delicious!
2. Alternatively, pan fry your shredded Savoy (or sliced sprouts) with a drizzle of olive oil and optional lardons, and crumble in a few pre-cooked chestnuts – pop the packet in the freezer afterwards and they’ll last for ages.
3. Bubble and squeak makes the best brunch, and cooked Savoy cabbage leftovers make the best bubble and squeak. Just mix with mashed potato, sweet potato, or suede, or a mix, and black pepper. Mashed celeriac with apple makes a delicate fruity version. Cook in a heavy-bottomed frying pan in some good quality oil. Get the pan really hot before you put in the mixture, and let it get really crispy on the bottom before turning over. Alternatively divide the mixture up to make individual bubble and squeak cakes. Lightly flour them before cooking.
4. Stuffed cabbage leaves: wash the best large leaves from your Savoy, and blanch them a few at a time in a pan of boiling water. You don’t want to cook them you just want to soften them. Whip them out of the water to dry on kitchen paper, while you blanch the rest. Fill the leaves with a spoonful of savoury mixture – rice (freshly cooked), red onion, garlic and mushroom; or, minced meat, rice, chopped onion, garlic and parsley; or, rice, onion, lemon zest and a few sultanas. Cut away any large veins and overlap the leaves. Pin with a cocktail stick. Bake in a 180’ oven with a drizzle of oil for around 20 minutes. Check halfway through - if the cabbage is getting too brown cover with foil. Just make sure they are piping hot all the way through. Serve with a simple homemade tomato sauce: made from finely chopped onion and garlic, sweated down in a tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat until transparent, then add tinned, or fresh, tomatoes and a small dollop of ketchup. Reduce down and blitz – or mash down if you don’t have a hand blender. Serve with lashings of chopped parsley.
5. Or add in your shredded Savoy right at the end of cooking a home-made soup, particularly minestrone.
Whatever you do with your cabbage, keep it simple, and don’t over cook it. Happy eating! Love, Pip.
Pip Mayo, Lee Greens Packing Team
Header photo by henry perks, stuffed cababge photo by Monika Grabkowska - both on Unsplash