Savoy Cabbage Primer + Recipes
Yesterday we picked up a new week’s worth of beautiful vegetables, thanks to the Sol Flower Farm vegetable CSA. One participant, stuffing scallions and kale and zucchini into her overflowing stroller, put her head of crinkly Savoy cabbage aside and told me, “I just don’t have room for this. I’ll leave it for someone else.”
In earnest horror, I told her I understood leaving the radishes behind, and maybe even the bag of peppery arugula.
But SAVOY CABBAGE, I said, is like manna from heaven. Sweet, crunchy, crinkly green goodness. Please take it, I insisted, handing it to her toddler in her seat, and just sautee it with butter and try and stop yourself from eating the whole head at once. (THE CABBAGE! Jeez.)
The toddler smiled and her mother acquiesced. I breathed a sigh of relief. Savoy cabbage, man, fresh from the farm - what’s not to love?
If you’re looking for recipe ideas for your Savoy, I’ve got some here.
Super Simple: Cabbage sauteed in fat
Fresh cabbage LOVES to be sauteed in butter, coconut oil, bacon fat - you name it. Just halve, quarter and roughly cut out the core of the cabbage, then slice into ribbons. Not too fat, not too thin. Warm your fat in a big heavy pan, without burning it, and sautee the ribbons over medium heat, stirring, until they wilt and soften a bit. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and maybe some rice wine vinegar or coconut vinegar. If you still have any scallions from your box, slice a few over the top, and serve. I often eat this with a nice pork chop or sausage from our Herondale Farm meat CSA.
Quick Savoy Slaws - haven’t made ‘em, but I will. Try saying “savoy slaw” real fast five times. Rolls off the tongue.
Savoy Slaw with Mint and Cilantro - from Epicurious
Savoy Cabbage Slaw with Applesauce Vinaigrette and Mustard Seeds - everyone on the Internet made this NYTimes recipe at some point, so go for it.
Photo: Molly Stevens
This recipe does contain cheese, but unlike many gratins, there are no pesky breadcrumbs. It’s one of those “haven’t made it but I’d bet my life it would be great” recipes I sometimes post. The source(s) are impeccable and the recipe logic is flawless. Yes, it’s a bit hot for the oven, but keep this recipe in your back pocket. It’s too good not to try.
Savoy Cabbage Gratin
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Savoy cabbage (about 1 ½ lb.), quartered, cored, and sliced into ½-inch-wide shreds
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, sliced into ½-inch-wide pieces
1 ¾ cups mild chicken or vegetable stock
1 ripe Saint-Marcellin cheese (about 3 oz.), or an equal amount of triple-cream cheese (see cheese note below)
Set a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a large (roughly 10”x 14”) gratin dish, or another dish of similar size.
Melt the butter in a large (12-inch or bigger) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage and scallions, season generously with salt, and cook, stirring, until the cabbage is nicely wilted and just beginning to brown in spots, about 10 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a steady simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
Transfer the cabbage, scallions, and all the liquid into the prepared gratin dish. Cover tightly with foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue to bake until the liquid is mostly evaporated, about 20 minutes more. Then remove the dish from the oven. Cut the cheese into small lumps and scatter it over the cabbage. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F, return the dish to the oven, and cook until the cheese is thoroughly melted, about 10 minutes.
Serve hot or warm, as a side dish for almost any meat.
**If you can’t find Saint-Marcellin, use a good triple-cream cheese, such as Delice de Bourgogne, Pierre Robert, or Brillat-Savarin. I used Delice de Bourgogne, and it was wonderful. Just remember not to use the rind: it’s too pungent. Also, don’t be tempted to use Brie. It isn’t quite right here.