Are you with me on Team Cabbage? In the United States, cabbage will probably never be voted most popular vegetable — not even in winter, when it’s at its best. Certainly not with all those adorable brussels sprouts and multicolored cauliflower heads flaunting their charms.
Yet cabbages are revered in cultures around the world. The French like them so much that they call their sweethearts “petits choux,” or little cabbages. In Greek mythology, cabbages sprang from the tears of Lycurgus, king of Thrace, after he was driven mad by Dionysus; thus, they were considered a remedy for drunkenness. And, of course, there’s Cabbage Man, the veggie vendor in the animated television series “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” whose cruciferous cargo somehow always gets overturned.
I adore cabbage in all its forms, but, apart from the occasional heap of coleslaw on a pulled pork sandwich, my husband and daughter turn up their noses at it. Which means that cabbage and I have had to go it alone. At least so far.
I’m hoping to tempt them with Cybelle Tondu’s new recipe for scrunched cabbage salad with fried almonds (above). She borrows a technique for kale salad, massaging the sturdy leaves to soften them, and then tosses them with a lemony dressing and olive oil-fried sesame seeds and nuts. Now that’s a cabbage treat!
More options to lure my family to my cabbage-laden table include Eric Kim’s glorious roasted chicken with caramelized cabbage and Sue Li’s gingery cabbage rolls stuffed with pork and rice and served in a soy sauce-spiked broth. And it’s high time to remind them that cabbage is the main ingredient in kimchi.
Not so fond of cabbage yourself? How do you feel about fried chicken? Nicole Taylor’s berry-jam fried chicken
In case you were wondering, no, my cabbage cravings do not extend to dessert. But cabbage starts with “c” and so does cake — stay with me here — as in Dorie Greenspan’s delightful poppy seed tea cake or Yossy Arefi’s gingerbread sheet cake with whipped chocolate ganache frosting.
You’ll crave a subscription for these and other recipes from the vast archive we have at New York Times Cooking. You can also find us on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, where you’ll see that the creamiest peanut butter fudge is just one bowl and a jar of conventional peanut butter away. Feel free to message me about cabbage or anything else at [email protected].
Like cabbages, enthusiasms are best shared. Last month I asked about the great books you read in 2022, and the responses show some shared tastes: the lapidary stories of Claire Keegan, a Dickens remake by Barbara Kingsolver, a climate fever-dream by Richard Powers and the austere joys of “My Name Is Lucy Barton” by Elizabeth Strout.