Hand drawn image of Cabbage

Cabbage

Brassica oleracea var. capitata

Never mind the latest superfood, we believe in the redemptive power of the cabbage. A kitchen faithful with magnificent culinary potential, it lends itself to quick cooking, slow braising or being eaten raw in thinly sliced slaws.

Image of Cabbage being produced

In the kitchen

Storage

Most varieties will keep in the fridge for a fortnight or so.

Prep & Cooking tips

Remove the outer leaves and cut out their tough central rib. Stack the leaves, roll them up like a cigar and slice into fine shreds. Cleave the tightly packed main centre into manageable quarters, remove the tough root core with a V-shaped cut, and slice it crossways as thickly or thinly as required. Or, simply cut into stout wedges for roasting.

Cabbage is a versatile veg: shred into stir-fries, curries, soups and stews. When raw and finely shredded, its fresh crunch is a welcome addition to salads and slaws. It’s also good quickly stir-fried, or cooked long and slow.

Video: How to Cook Cabbage

Easy ideas

1. Comfort

Things needn’t always be complicated. These greens are often at their best simply steamed, boiled or slightly wilted in a pan. 4-5 mins, at the most, is all you need. Season with a little salt and pepper, and finish with a bit of butter or olive oil and maybe a restrained squeeze of lemon. Try folding your wilted cabbage into buttery mashed potato to make Irish colcannon, or mixing with cold mash and chopped leftovers and frying as bubble and squeak cakes.

2. Fresh sauerkraut

Although lacking the savoury depth of the fermented form, you can approximate the key notes by braising half a shredded cabbage with 300ml of apple juice or cider, 1 tbsp of cider vinegar, 1 tsp of brown sugar, 4 smashed juniper berries and a generous seasoning of salt and black pepper. Great with bangers.

3. The finishing touch

Very finely shredded, these greens make a fresh and healthy finish to a robust soup or stew. A dark winter minestrone, heavy with tomatoes and beans, would be ideal; even a deep, savoury bowl of miso can be enriched with a tangle of noodle-thin greens. A handful thrown into a stir-fry in the closing minutes adds colour, and can be left slightly undercooked if you’d like a slight crunch.

Goes well with

Alliums (Chives, Garlic, Onion)
Anchovies
Apple
Beef
Cured pork
Lamb
Mustard
Smoked fish
Soy sauce
Spices (Caraway, Chilli, Coriander seed, Ginger, Juniper, Mustard seed, Nutmeg, Pepper)

Cabbage recipes

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In the field

  • Meet the grower: John Walter Symons, Borough Farm

    John Walter-Symons runs Borough Farm near Holbeton; the rolling fields are filled with vegetables and cereal crops, as well as free-roaming organic sheep.

    Read more

Seasonality

jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sep
oct
nov
dec

Varieties

  • Picture of Pointed cabbage (Hispi)

    Pointed cabbage (Hispi)

    May-October

    Less long-lasting; only keeps for a week in the fridge. Crunchy, with a sweet, delicate flavour. Good steamed, stir-fried or simply cooked in butter.

  • Picture of January King

    January King

    October-February

    Crunchy texture and sweet flavour. Like Hispi, it’s good steamed, stir-fried or simply cooked in butter.

  • Picture of Red cabbage

    Red cabbage

    July-December

    Cook low and slow until tender. Or, slice very thinly to enliven green salads and slaws.

  • Picture of Savoy

    Savoy

    July-March

    Robust texture and strong flavour. Ideal for hearty soups and stews. A good substitute for Cavolo Nero.

  • Picture of White cabbage

    White cabbage

    July-January

    A good texture for coleslaw. Or, quick-cook it with butter and caraway seeds.

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