What to Eat: Ahoy, Savoy!

Coleslaw, stuffed cabbage, sauerkraut. Everyone knows dishes made with ordinary green cabbage. But savoy cabbage? Which one is that?

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First of all, savoy is a bit funny looking. Its crinkly, veined leaves make it look like green cabbage’s elderly cousin. But age has its advantages.

Savoy has a milder, sweeter taste, and it has no strong sulfury smell when cooked. It’s also less dense than green cabbage, so it’s easier to cut, and its thinner leaves cook more quickly. In fact, savoy’s leaves are tender enough to eat raw in salads even if you don’t shred them finely (as in coleslaw). Savoy is in season during late fall and winter, but you should be able to find it in grocery stores year-round.

And savoy can hold its own in any vitamin competition. Just a half cup of cooked shredded leaves has 21 percent of a day’s vitamin C, 13 percent of a day’s vitamin A, and 8 percent of a day’s folate…all for less than 20 calories. And who can stop at half a cup?

Ready for delish?

Stir-fry sliced savoy in canola oil with garlic, ginger, and scallions, then drizzle with toasted (Asian) sesame oil and reduced-sodium soy sauce. Or sauté chopped savoy in olive oil with onions, apples, and a sprinkle of caraway seeds, then season with a pinch of salt and a splash of red wine vinegar. Or cut savoy into thin wedges, brush with olive oil, roast in a 450º F oven until browned on the edges, then sprinkle with balsamic vinegar.

The same recipes work with napa cabbage, an even milder and easier-to-cut cousin.

Welcome to the cabbage patch.

 

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