Even if you don’t eat cabbage regularly, you may be having some corned beef and cabbage tomorrow, St. Patrick’s Day.
If you think there’s nothing new in cabbage, check out the new cabbage in town. Originally grown in Spain as Sweetheart or Sweet Heart cabbage, it is now grown in California branded as Kool cabbage.
It is delicious pointed cabbage, another name by which it is known. Still other names include duchy cabbage, hearted cabbage and hispi.
A conical-shaped member of the cabbage family, the leaves are more open (less tight) than those of a conventional green cabbage, with a softer texture and sweeter taste. It also requires less time to cook.
Note that while a pointed cabbage is, in fact, cool, kool is the Dutch word for cabbage. It gave its name to koolsla, which in the U.S. became cole slaw (kool = cabbage, sla = salad).
COOKING POINTED CABBAGE
Kool/pointed cabbage is best enjoyed cooked, as opposed to raw in slaws and salads.
Sweetheart or Kool cabbage, known by a variety of other names. Photo courtesy EuropeanCuisines.com. Check out their recipe for Shredded Baby Cabbage in Cream Sauce.
Melissas.com, which sells the cabbage online, suggests removing the center core and using the leaves in stir fry, boiled or steamed as a stand-alone side dish or grilled as a topping for steak or lamb chops.
Cut the cabbage in half and then into quarters, removing the hard core from each quarter at an angle. Then slice and wash thoroughly.
To steam cabbage, place it in a steamer and cook for 5-10 minutes until tender but still crisp.
To boil cabbage, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the prepared cabbage and cook for 5 8 minutes until tender but still crisp.
To stir-fry cabbage, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, add the cabbage and stir fry for 4-5 minutes or until tender but still crisp.
To grill cabbage, preheat the grill to medium. Cut the cabbage into wedges (8 for a conventional cabbage) and remove the core. Place on a piece of foil large enough to wrap all the wedges. Season to taste (garlic powder, salt, pepper), seal in the foil and grill for 30 to 40 minutes until tender.
It’s easy to overcook cabbage and bring out those odoriferous sulfur compounds.
Don’t forget the corned beef!
*Brassica is the plant genus that comprises the cruciferous vegetables, nutritional powerhouses packed with potent, cancer-fighting phytonutrients (antioxidants). They include arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish/wasabi, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radish, rapeseed/canola, rapini, rutabaga, turnips and others.