We felt that green cabbage would be a good choice for this, our first installment of the Virtual CSA Box.
Green cabbage is a cold weather crop and it keeps well, so it has been a common winter vegetable for hundreds of years. The tight, compact head we know as cabbage is actually called the babchka; the full head includes the wide, spreading mature leaves that are usually stripped off before it reaches your door in the CSA box.
So, if you find a babchka of green cabbage in your box this week, here's a few tips. First, don't wash it until you're ready to use it. Like most leafy vegetables, moisture will only speed deterioration. Pat off any moisture that is there, wrap in plastic and refrigerate. Cabbage will keep for quite a while in the fridge.
When you're ready to make good use of this smelly, sometimes intimidating vegetable, start with some recipes from our archives. If you are a cabbage neophyte, check out the Cabbage Braised in Wine. This method almost completely removes the pungent taste and smell that makes many people wrinkle their noses; it comes out soft and sweet instead.
You can also go back to the cabbage classics, like Corned Beef and Cabbage, Haluska (Cabbage Casserole), and, if you really have some time, Homemade Sauerkraut.
Or you can just use it a little at a time, shredded for some crunch in salads and Fish Tacos, or chopped fine in Steamed Pork Dumplings.
Did you get a green cabbage in your box of produce this week? If so, what are you going to do with it?