Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Big Veggies, Big Problems

Problem 1: I think I got black pepper up my nose and I can't stop sneezing.

So anyway, cabbage sounds like a good idea, right? Especially a nice, fresh-looking Savoy cabbage with its seductively curly green leaves, waving to you flirtatiously in the vegetable market? And when you read about cabbage, it sounds like such an underdog people's hero kind of vegetable, feeding the peasants, growing even when nothing else will grow. Plus you can cook it in plenty of different ways: braised, stuffed, stir-fried, in soup, raw in a salad, etc. etc. 

But thank god for this versatility because, bringing me to Problem 2: A cabbage is a damn lot of cabbage.

I bought this particular cabbage two days ago. I cooked it in white wine with apples, red onions, potatoes, and pork in my new Dutch oven (!!!!!!!!!). The next night, I made Sautéed Ginger Beef and Cabbage. Today at lunch, I ate my cabbage in count 'em not one but TWO dishes. We're going out of town at the end of the week, and we've still got a long road of cabbage ahead of us. The picture above is the "after" picture.

But, since my English students keep cancelling their classes and I have leisurely, even endless, lunchbreaks, lunch today was an exercise in (1) eating cabbage, and (2) improving my food photography. Here are my results, and my recipes.

Cabbage Rib Salad with Creamy Miso Dressing, serves 2

I used cabbage ribs. You could just use regular chopped cabbage, but this is one way to use up the thick, crunchy bits that you didn't want to sautée in your dinner from the night before.

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 heaping cup chopped cabbage ribs
sesame seeds for garnish

1 teaspoon saké, soju, or other rice alcohol of about that strength (mine is 20%)
1/3 teaspoon miso paste
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon plain yogurt, crème fraîche, or sour cream

Place ribs on a plate, sprinkle shallot overtop. In a small dish, mix the dressing ingredients, then drizzle over salad. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Quinoa with Apples, Potatoes, Red Onions, and Cabbage, serves any number of people

This recipe is um, a bit looser, since as I mentioned it's mostly leftovers. But cooking approximately equal amounts of potatoes, apple, and red onion with some cabbage and pork in about an inch of dry white wine with ample salt and pepper in a Dutch oven for about an hour and a half yields a fruit/vegetable/meat-juice mixture whose leftovers are nice served over quinoa. Mine is actually half quinoa, half bulgur wheat, but who's counting?

So that's my cabbage story. The moral: avoid big vegetables before big trips. Oh, and I'll let you guess Problem 3.

1 comment:

Lenore said...

Annie, I LOVE cabbage. Love love it. It's like sweet crunchy lettuce. I have a hard time controlling myself with it, which, as I'm sure you know, poses...... problems. Anyway I think I'm going to make a quinoa-roasted veggie salad for me to eat for lunch several days this week, so I'll be thinking of you. Hugs!