In search of healthy and fun meals to feed my family, with an eye toward sustainable living.

Here you'll find recipes & ramblings about keeping my family fed with what's available in Alaska between local produce, a little bit of wild harvest, and the modern grocery store.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cabbage, Kohl, Chou

How can I write a German/ Alaskan blog with the word KRAUT in it, and not list TONS of recipes for produce from the Brassica family? The Brassica family (botanical name for the "cabbages" or "Mustards") was formerly called the Cruciferae, and is a very interesting family which includes many fast-growing weeds as well (no wonder humans domesticated them so easily!)

In alphabetical order, here's some of the many species we humans eat from this versatile family: Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mustard, Rape seed, Rutabaga, Turnip.

Now if you're looking for inspiration for recipes, don't look here, but go to Alisonslunch -- she's got great recipes and even has a search engine on her blog. I'm looking forward to trying many of her recipes throughout the seasons, esp. next fall and winter, when we once again will be inundated with cabbage!

Here are just a few of my favorite ways to cook cabbage:
BLAUKRAUT or Braised Red Cabbage
"Blaukraut" translates to "blue cabbage", and that's what they call it in Southern Germany, while in the North they call it Rotkohl or "red cabbage". Go figure! The confusion probably derives from the fact that cabbage is red when raw, turn bluish when cut, and the dish turns a brilliant purple when the cabbage is cooked together with the acidity of vinegar. Here's the traditional non-vegetarian version, but you can easily substitute vegetable oil in the first step, and it tastes just fine!

2-3 pounds red cabbage, sliced
2-3 T bacon fat (or oil)
1 T sugar
1 large onion, sliced
1 firm apple, peeled and diced (optional)
4 T vinegar (red wine vinegar is nice, but a cider vinegar will do)
water or stock as needed

Heat fat, add sugar and stir until lighltly browned. Add onion and apples, saute for few minutes. Add cabbage, and toss until all is mixed well. Add vinegar and cover pot. Braise about 10 minutes until cabbage turns blue/purple. Add water as needed to cook until tender. Add salt as desired.
(Some German cooks add preserved lingonberry or currant jelly!)

Savoy Cabbage and Potatoes with Pesto from Alison's lunch -- this looks so good! Inspired by pasta dish, but using cabbage instead, very unusual!

Indian Dal with cabbage - another of Alison's recipes, bublished in the Glacier Grist (GG#22)

Bubble and Squeak -- a British dish mixing potatoes and cabbage - see my post on potatoes.


  1. Red cabbage with duck l'orange is divine! Except I hate eating ducks. Is Wirsing a cabbage?

  2. I make something similar to this from a recipe from the Alsace region of France. We eat it with sausage usually, but duck sounds great. If you want more cabbage, here's a cabbage casserole that you can serve as a vegetarian meal. Cheers!