Saturday, May 21, 2011

Getting a head

On a recent excursion into our local grocery shop, I saw cabbages on special for only $2.90 a head.  They were pretty big, so that struck me as a good deal and I asked Andy if he wanted a cabbage.  He said yes, on the condition that I find one "as big as New Zealand".

I picked one of the largest cabbages - not the biggest of the bunch, but the one that felt heaviest, to ensure we got the best value for money.  Out of curiosity, I put it on the scale -- it weighed in at 2.5 kilos.  That's just over 5.5 pounds, which is a lotta cabbage.

So how can two people get through a cabbage the size of New Zealand while it's still fresh?

First up, we shredded a small wedge and mixed it with leftover mashed potatoes, some flour, and a few other ingredients to make bubble and squeak.  We put this mix into the freezer, for an easy weeknight dinner later on.

Later on, we pulled it out for an easy weeknight dinner... but a lot of liquid must have come out of the cabbage in the freezing and thawing process, because the mixture was very sloppy.  Instead of adding some extra flour, Andy tried just dropping spoonfuls onto the baking tray.  The results were not very crispy but had a good flavour.   The messy bubbles&squeaks are in the background behind some cheesy-ish broccoli bake, and next to some wilted ceylon spinach.

Then we used another little bit of it, with brown rice and seaweed, to stuff some chokoes.  (Served with some potatoes and dukkah-crusted eggplant -- that eggplant was also huge, practically the size of Tasmania.)

A good chunk got fried up with sliced potatoes in a dinner that reminded me of something my mum might make.  As a side dish, Andy mixed up some broccoli, sundried tomatoes, olives, and dijon vinaigrette.

Then we discovered Andy's new favourite way to eat cabbage.  Using the basic stir fry sauce from this cashew seitan recipe, this semi-Chinese-ish cabbage was salty and saucy and everything good.  It was far superior to the BBQ seitan ribs we served it alongside.

We were finally left with just under a quarter of our original New Zealand-sized head of cruciferous veggie, which we cut in half and baked.  I put both wedges into a loaf pan, put a little chicken-style stock into the bottom, and drizzled on olive oil, salt and garlic before putting it into the oven.  Then we sprinkled with some garlic chives.  The result was tender yet still textural, and one of my favourite ways to eat cabbage.  Served up with roasted potatoes, baked broccoli and a tiny bit of seitan, just to see how an experimental batch tasted.

And that, my friends, is how two people get through a cabbage the size of New Zealand in a mere five dinners (with some leftovers for lunch).  Take that, cabbage that would dwarf me, if it weren't for what my mum referred to as 'football player's shoulders'.


Nadine said...

I think that cabbage might in fact be larger than New Zealand!

Emma said...

That is a cabbage. I've bought one that huge before but I'm pretty sure I didn't use it quite as creatively as you have! Ha. That last way of cooking sounds good. I love me some braised cabbage. I did it with a red one and a cinnamon stick once.

Hannah said...

Have you ever come across this?

I was totally expecting you to have a pram at the end of this post.

Janna Renee said...

haha we ended up with extra cabbage the other day and we threw it in with some spaghetti squash, peppers, onions and asian toasted sesame dressing and it was yummy!

Susan said...

That is one gigantic cabbage!
I have never thought of roasting cabbage in wedges before, but now I want to try it!
There are some great ideas here - I often find myself with some left over cabbage if I have bought some for a recipe.

Emma said...


While I was looking for ways to cook bunya nuts on the net I came across a site where a nice old man had actually written down exact locations of fruiting bunya pines! Unfortunately only in the Brisbane area though. Maybe someone up there has done the same thing :) Or if you have a public botanic garden with a bunya pine in it (likely), you could always ask the staff for them (council usually collects them in parks) or something. There is sure to be some around :)

Vaala ◪ said...

That's a huge cabbage! I hardly ever buy or use cabbage because I never really know what to do with it that I like so I wish I'd seen this post when I was getting a veggie box 'cause this would have been so handy with ideas! It's inspiring me to give it another go.

Gina said...

Lovely ode to a cabbage, thanks! And some nice ideas for use. We had a similar experience with a giant cauliflower during a camping trip in Nova Scotia, and your blog brought back nice memories of the cauliflower that just wouldn't go away, despite using it every day in different dishes.

Gina said...

Forgot to share a cabbage recipe that we like a lot. To go along with vegan sushi that I make once a month or so, I make this sweet and spicy cabbage salad:

4 cups finely shredded cabbage
1/2 finely sliced red onion
1 finely chopped jalapeno chili
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar

Groover said...

Oh, this is such a good post because I have half a cabbage the size of the South Island in my fridge and no idea what to do with it. I bought it because Alberto requested Kale or Cabbage for a new recipe he wanted to try and since they didn't have Kale I bought cabbage, which he ended up not using... now I'm stuck with it and believe me, I haven't made anything cabbage in over ten years, maybe even longer. Thanks for the inspiration.