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TIP OF THE DAY: Uses For Savoy Cabbage

Savoy cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. sabauda L.) is the prettiest member of the cabbage species (Brassica oleracea).

It’s also known as choux de savoie (France), cavolo verza (Italian), and Milan cabbage and Lombardy cabbage (English).

Savoy is a loose-headed cabbage with crepe-like, crinkled, frilly leaves and a sweet, earthy flavor.

We enjoy it much more than a standard head of white cabbage—which is the industry name for what consumers call green cabbage.

It’s not as hard as conventional white/green and red cabbage. The leaves are still crunchy, but more tender tender.

As is common with agricultural products, there are many different varieties of Savoy cabbage, which is grown worldwide.

Savoy King is the most popular variety with U.S. growers, and favored for its versatility whether raw or cooked [source].

It is considered to be the most versatile of all cabbages, and can be substituted for both western hard-heading cabbages and Chinese loose-heading varieties (like Napa cabbage).

A head of cabbage will keep 1-2 weeks in the fridge, when loosely wrapped in plastic and stored in the crisper drawer.

In addition to serving raw in salads and slaws, Savoy cabbage can be baked, boiled, braised, grilled, roasted, steamed and stir-fried.

Simply cooked as a side dish (or on a vegetable plate), tossed with butter with black pepper, is nice enough.

But you can build on it by adding cherry tomatoes, grated cheese, mushrooms, peas, whatever. Here are other ways to enjoy Savoy cabbage.

  • Add it, torn or grated, to green salads.
  • It can be a traditional coleslaw, an international version like this Vietnamese cabbage slaw, or a sweet-and-tart slaw with apples, walnuts and parmesan cheese.
  • It can be prepared simply (we love it with bacon), added to casseroles curries, soups and stews.
  • It makes a prettier corned beef and cabbage.
  • It’s a popular wrapper, stuffed with meats such (beef, chicken, duck, sausage, rice, and/or chopped vegetables.
  • Add it to stir-fries (how about a Thai stir-fry with peanut sauce?).
  • It’s a bread-type substitute, standing in for sandwich bread (wraps), taco shells or spring roll wrappers.
  • It’s delicious pickled, as a condiment.
  • Savoy cabbage and bacon is a side for meat and poultry.
  • It pairs with pasta, such as orecchiette (or cut of choice) with savoy cabbage and bacon or pancetta (add peas and mushrooms, too).

  • Savoy cabbage pairs well with most herbs: caraway, dill, horseradish, mint, sage and thyme for starters, plus garlic and mustard.
  • Create a dish using apples, avocados, carrots, corn, fennel, onions, peas, and/or potatoes.
  • Add a sauce or gravy of choice.
  • Add nuts: almonds, peanuts and walnuts.


    Cabbage was most likely domesticated somewhere in Europe before 1000 B.C.E., although Savoys weren’t bred and cultivated until the 16th century C.E.

    The first known documentation of this crinkly cabbage is in the 1500s, in a region that bordered France, Italy, and Switzerland that was then ruled by the Italian House of Savoy.

    The historical territory was shared among the modern countries of France, Italy and Switzerland.

    The elegant-looking cabbage was embraced in Savoy; and wherever it traveled since.
    > The Detailed History Of Cabbage


    [1] What a beauty: Savoy cabbage is the loveliest-looking variety (photo © Monika Grabowska | Unsplash).

    [2] Stuffed cabbage in a vinegar-spiked tomato sauce. Here’s the recipe from Waitrose (photo © Waitrose).

    [3] Take stuffed cabbage to new heights with this Barley “Risotto” Stuffed Cabbage. It has a surprise: Guinness beer. Here’s the recipe (photo © Guinness)

    [4] Use Savoy cabbage leaves as wraps. Here, it’s taco filling; but conventional fillings like tuna are also delectable (photo © Vegetarian Everyday Cookbook).



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