IT’S THE SEASON FOR CABBAGES & FRIENDS!

I have always enjoyed cabbage. I can “peel & eat” it raw, love the cool freshness of coleslaw and then there’s the ultimate…cooked cabbage in all its forms. I guess it comes from growing up in Spokane and having a father who loved it, especially the plain old green variety. It was cabbage and ham soup and we ate a lot of it! You could always tell that Mom was doing Dads’ favorite by the warm aroma you encountered the minute you walked in the house.

Check out the cabbages Market vendors have this coming week…cabbage comes green like I used to eat it, plus there is purple, Savoy and Napa or “Chinese” cabbage which is used a lot in Asian cuisine. Cabbage was known to the ancient Romans and Greeks and was praised for its medicinal properties. Today it is dietary staple all around the world especially in Russia where it is the national food. Russians eat seven times as much cabbage as North Americans!

The color of the green variety ranges from pale to dark green while red cabbage has leaves that are either crimson or purple with white veins running through. The Savoy variety tends to be more tender than the other varieties and the ”wrinkled” leaves make a great garnish.

You’ll want to choose cabbage heads that are firm and dense. Avoid heads with dry cores.  Look for firmness and density with leaves that are free of cracks and blemishes. Cabbages keep very well…put them in a plastic bag in your crisper. Green and red heads will keep for a couple of weeks.

Now when you are ready to go beyond “plain old cabbage”, see if you can find some kohlrabi which is actually a stem veggie created by crossbreeding cabbages and turnips. And you thought your vegetable garden was dull and boring! They taste a lot like turnips…slice or dice after you scrub the outside leaves.  Choose small tender stems with fresh green leaves.

Add a little variety to your vegetable palate. Slice the kohlrabi bulb and combine with oil and barbeque sauce. Put them in your grilling basket with the lid on…leave them on the grill for 15 to 20 minutes and dare your guests to “name that veggie”.

Fall is a great time to enjoy all the bounty from the Market along with the wonders from your own garden. I searched Google for “cabbage recipes” and only found 1.3 million to choose from. I’ll bet you’ll find a great new dish and a tasty way to eat your vegetables…and you can always try that cabbage and ham soup. Makes me feel at home just thinking about it!