Before doing my research for this post, cabbage and I weren’t best friends. My only reference to cabbage is a sloppy green pile of borderline inedible food served on the side of a questionable roast dinner. It’s something I’d associate with an older family member, the kind of food that they force you to eat because it’s ‘good for you’, when in fact they’ve soaked it in so much butter that it basically makes you at higher risk of heart disease.
But this was all before writing this. After looking into the many uses and ways to cook savoy cabbage my eyes have been opened to much more flavoursome ways of using cabbage. It’s adapted from being a sloppy side to something I want to immediately start frying up with pancetta and cream.
What is savoy cabbage?
I know it sounds like a posh version of cabbage, but it’s not that much different when you dig a bit deeper. It gets its name from the region of France that it supposedly originated from. This lies close to the borders of Switzerland and France. Although it originates here, savoy cabbage is grown worldwide, generally between October and February, making it the perfect vegetable to add to a winter dish.
How to spot the perfect savoy cabbage
Like with any fresh food, you want to make sure you get the best quality product possible, so here are some pointers so you can quality control the savoy cabbages on your next supermarket trip. A savoy cabbage should:
- Deep green outer leaves
- Lighter core
- Tightly packed
- Heavy for the size
- Texture changes from the outer to the middle
A savoy cabbage shouldn’t:
- Yellow leaves
- Black edges
- Dry stumps
Pairing your savoy cabbage
So you’ve found the perfect savoy cabbage in the supermarket, what next? It’s time to cook yourself some good grub. Like normal cabbage, you could just steam your savoy and plate it up on the side of your main dish, but why let such a delectable ingredient go to waste?
It’s probably no surprise to you that I’ve written pancetta because it basically goes with everything. If you want to add a salty kick to a meal then include pancetta. If you’re looking for an indulgent meal, try topping pasta with fried cabbage, creme fraiche and pancetta. You probably won’t need to eat again for a few weeks.
Cabbage is also an excellent ingredient to use in some of your favourite Asian dishes. You can add savoy cabbage to your stir fry to add a different variation of texture from the other crunchier vegetables. Even consider using this variation of cabbage in a ramen dish. Pairing cabbage with pork ramen is another way to pack out the bowl with nutritional goodness.
Add some crunch
To mix up the texture in your cabbage dish, seeds and nuts can be a fantastic way to add flavour. Chestnuts with bacon is a more traditional dish with cabbage, however you could also cook cabbage with almonds or caraway seeds to add a flavour combination to a dish you never knew you needed.
I hope next time I visit the supermarket all of the savoy cabbages are sold out because you’ve taken them all.
Originally published on January 30, 2022