- Veggie Index
- Greens, Chard
- Greens, Collard
- Greens, Kale
- Greens, Mustard
- Onions, Bulbing
- Onion, Bunching
- Peppers, sweet
- Peppers, hot
- Squash, summer
- Squash, winter
- Brussels Sprouts
Scientific and Common Names
Brassica oleracea L.
[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia] “The cabbage is a popular cultivar of the species Brassica oleracea Linne (Capitata Group) of the Family Brassicaceae (or Cruciferae), and is used as a leafy green vegetable. It is a herbaceous, biennial, dicotyledonous flowering plant distinguished by a short stem upon which is crowded a mass of leaves, usually green but in some varieties red or purplish, which while immature form a characteristic compact, globular cluster. Cabbage leaves often have a delicate, powdery, waxy coating called bloom. The occasionally sharp or bitter taste of cabbage is due to glucosinolate(s). Cabbages are also a good source of riboflavin.
“The cultivated cabbage is derived from a leafy plant called the wild mustard plant, native to the Mediterranean region, where it is common along the seacoast. Also called sea cabbage and wild cabbage, it was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans; Cato the Elder praised this vegetable for its medicinal properties, declaring that ‘[I]t is the cabbage that surpasses all other vegetables.'”
|Nutrient||Amount||% US RDA|
|Energy||103 kJ (25 kcal)||N/A|
|Dietary fiber||2.5 g||15-20%|
|Thiamine (Vit. B1)||0.061 mg||5%|
|Riboflavin (Vit. B2)||0.069 mg||(3%)|
|Niacin (Vit. B3)||0.234 mg||(2%)|
|Folate (Vit. B9)||53 μg||(13%)|
|Vitamin C||36.6 mg||(61%)|
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database
There are many varieties of cabbage available, for different soil types and hardiness zones. Cabbage is started indoors in moist soil and then moved outdoors into a location in full sun, when daytime temperatures reach about 50℉. Cabbage needs soil with adequate nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and will grow best in cooler temperatures, between 39 and 75℉. Plant about 24″ apart. Plants will take between about 70 and 120 days to mature, depending on the variety you choose.
Uses and Cooking Tips
The only part of the plant that is normally eaten is the leafy head; more precisely, the spherical cluster of immature leaves, excluding the partially unfolded outer leaves. Cabbage is used in a variety of dishes for its naturally spicy flavor. The so-called “cabbage head” is widely consumed raw, cooked, or preserved in a great variety of dishes. It is the principal ingredient in coleslaw.
Cabbage is often added to soups or stews. Cabbage soup is popular in Central and Eastern Europe, and cabbage is an ingredient in some kinds of borscht. Cabbage may be an ingredient in kugel, a baked pudding served as a side dish or dessert. Cabbage is also used in many popular dishes in India. Boiling tenderizes the leaves and releases sugars, which leads to the characteristic “cabbage” aroma. Boiled cabbage as an accompaniment to meats and other dishes can be an excellent source of vitamins and dietary fiber.
Cabbage is the basis for the German sauerkraut, Chinese suan cai and Korean kimchi. To pickle cabbage it is covered with a brine made of its own juice with salt, and left in a warm place for several weeks to ferment. Cabbage can also be pickled in vinegar with various spices, alone or in combination with other vegetables. Korean baechu kimchi is usually sliced thicker than its European counterpart, and the addition of onions, chillies, papaya, minced garlic and ginger is common.
In European folk medicine, cabbage leaves are used to treat acute inflammation. A paste of raw cabbage may be placed in a cabbage leaf and wrapped around the affected area to reduce discomfort. Some claim it is effective in relieving painfully engorged breasts in breastfeeding women. Fresh cabbage juice has been shown to promote rapid healing of peptic ulcers.
Cabbage may also act as a goitrogen. It blocks organification in thyroid cells, thus inhibiting the production of the thyroid hormones (thyroxine and triiodothyronine). The result is an increased secretion of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) due to low thyroid hormone levels. This increase in TSH results in an enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter).
Cabbage, Radicchio, and Apple Slaw
adapted from Eat Greens
- 1/2 head cabbage, finely shredded
- 1/2 head radicchio, finely shredded
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/8 cup mayonnaise
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- Put the cabbage, radicchio, onion, and apple in large bowl and toss together.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and orange juice. Add the mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste and whisk until well combined. Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss until well coated.
- Taste. Adjust seasonings if needed. I like to add sweetened nuts. Then serve. The slaw will keep, covered in the refrigerator for a couple days. A great fresh summer salad.