Okay. So two green cabbages from last week, two more from the week before plus a napa = FIVE cabbages in my fridge. Thankfully, they’re not all huge.
I must admit some defeat here and confess that I gave my mom two cabbages yesterday. I would only ever give my local box bounty to someone I know would put it to good use and I feel confident that those cabbages have gone to a good home.
That leaves me with three more to get working on. Make that two, because tonight I made something called Melted Cabbage Soup.
The recipe itself is actually called Melted Cabbage and Green Garlic, and it is, on account of the latter ingredient, a spring dish. Replace the green garlic with a combo of regular garlic and leeks, though, and you’ve got yourself a cosy winter dish.
It is, in fact, a side dish, but you could toss it with pasta, stir it into risotto or, with the addition of more chicken or vegetable stock, make it into a soup. That’s what I did tonight, adding 4 cups of stock in instead of just 1/2 cup. This will be lunch for the week and should be a good, healthy foil to the boxes of Turtles and such that will likely start turning up at work any day now.
This recipe serves six and comes from Amelia Saltsman’s The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook. Saltsman notes in her intro that the quick boiling of the cabbage before sauteeing takes care of its hidden sharpness and brings out the sweetness.
Melted Cabbage and Green Garlic
1 large head green cabbage (2 to 3 pounds), cored and cut into narrow wedges
3 or 4 bunches green garlic (1 to 1-1/3 pounds) or 3 large leeks, white part only, and 4 cloves garlic
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock, or as needed (4 cups if making soup)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the cabbage, and boil for 3 minutes. Drain well, chop finely and set aside. Trim the root end and tops off the garlic so that you have the white part and about 4 inches of the green. Chop the garlic. If using leeks and garlic cloves, chop the leeks and mince the garlic. You should have about 3 cups.
In a deep, wide pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion, green garlic (or leeks and garlic) and a little salt and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until translucent and soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cabbage and 1 tsp salt and cook, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook slowly until the vegetables are reduced and very creamy, about 1 hour. Stir occasionally and add the stock after 30 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid the next time you check the pan, leave the lid off for awhile. If the mixture is dry or sticking, add a bit more stock or water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This dish can be made a day ahead and reheated over low heat.
– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.