Even January can be an exciting time at the farmers market. My millennial kids were perplexed by my immense delight at the cone head cabbage I recently picked up the Morningside Farmers Market – particularly when I entertained myself by repeatedly intoning the famous SNL phrase “must consume mass quantities” (of cabbage!).
Now is an ideal season to explore the wide array of colors, shapes and textures cabbage varieties come in. Since cabbage is almost 93% water, most kinds pretty much taste like, well, cabbage. I don’t let this distract a bit from cabbage’s immensely versatile cooking appeal originating from cuisines around the world.
Google the word cabbage and you’ll also be tempted to run right out and buy some to cure just about every health issue you might have…even a hangover (not sure about eating cabbage after a night of overindulging though)
Cabbage’s super food status is legit, the benefits seems endless: it’s fiber rich, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, rich in vitamin K, C, and E, plus electrolytes and minerals including iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium. As a bonus, with zero calories cabbage can help jump-start healthy eating in the new year…a goal I set for myself this year.
Using my cone head as well as Georgia grown red cabbage, I recently brought my quick and crispy Honey Orange Southwestern Cabbage Slaw to add to a tamale making party with friends. The flavors stayed so bright and welcoming I convinced myself the orange juice meant I could eat the leftovers for breakfast the next day.
Hand shred the cabbage with a knife for a more even and crunchy texture. The best way to hand cut cabbage is quarter it and slice as thinly and evenly as possible with a knife.
The slaw will become more pickled, keep for up to a week, and turn a sweet pink color.
Honey Orange Southwestern Cabbage Slaw
¼ cup champagne or unseasoned rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs fresh orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
3 Tbs canola or grapeseed oil
1 Tbs honey or 1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 cups shredded cabbage (a mix of different varieties makes for a more interesting slaw)
½ cup thin red onion slices (from 1 small onion, quartered and sliced)
1 tsp minced jalapeno peppers
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- In small bowl whisk together vinegar, orange juice, oil, honey, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified.
- In a large bowl gently mix cabbage, red onion, jalapeno pepper and cilantro until combined. Pour enough vinaigrette over to coat cabbage slaw and mix again.
- Let sit an hour before serving to let flavors settle. Slaw will keep for up to a week.