A sturdy, abundant
vegetable that is rich in vitamin C, cabbage is almost on par with potatoes
as a long-standing dietary staple. An inexpensive food that is easy
to grow, almost universally available, and keeps well, cabbage, as a
member of the large family of cruciferous vegetables, is rich in nutrients.
Along with vitamin C, it contains significant amounts of the nitrogen
compounds known as indoles, which appear to lower the risk of various
forms of cancer. Cabbage also contains a good amount of fibre, both
soluble and insoluble.
Look for solid, heavy heads of cabbage, with no more than three or four
loose "wrapper" (outer) leaves. These outer leaves should
be clean and flexible but not limp, and free of discolored veins or
caterpillar damage, which may penetrate the interior of the head. The
stem should be closely trimmed and healthy looking, not dry or split.
The inner and outer leaves should be tightly attached to the stem. Autumn
and winter cabbage from storage are usually firmer than the fresh-picked
types sold in spring and summer. Don't buy halved or quartered heads
of cabbage, even if well wrapped: As soon as the leaves are cut or torn,
the vegetable begins to lose vitamin C.
Cabbage keeps well and retains its vitamin C if kept cold. Place the
whole head of cabbage in a perforated plastic bag and store it in the
refrigerator . An uncut head of green cabbage will keep for at least
a head of cabbage is cut, cover the cut surface tightly with plastic
wrap and use the remainder within a day or two. Rubbing the cut surface
with lemon juice will prevent it from discolouring.
The interior of a head of green cabbage is nearly always clean, but
if you want to rinse it, do so shortly before cooking the cabbage, and
after you cut or chop it. To conserve its vitamin C, don't cut up cabbage
until you're ready to cook it.
cutting cabbage into wedges, leave part of the core intact to help hold
the leaves together. However, when cabbage is to be cut up into smaller
pieces, the first step is to quarter and core it: Cut the cabbage in
quarters through the stem. Then cut out a wedge-shape section from each
quarter to remove the stem and core.
slice or shred cabbage, place a quarter wedge on the cutting board,
resting on its side. Slice through the wedge vertically to cut it into
wide ribbons or fine shreds. You can also grate cabbage by hand on the
coarse side of a grater, or shred it in the food processor, using the
a stainless steel knife when cutting cabbage; its juices react with
carbon steel and the cut edges of the cabbage will turn black.
should be cooked quickly, then served as soon as possible.