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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Garlicky Braised Savoy Cabbage

I can't help it. I'm a sucker for pretty vegetables. If you're selling a gorgeous head of romanesco or purple cauliflower, I'm your gal. I won't turn away empty handed. That's how I feel when I see savoy cabbage at the farmers' market. It's simply gorgeous. I have to hold back from gushing to fellow shoppers, "Isn't this beautiful?!".

Crinkly, vibrant and lustrous, it's like the vegetable equivalent of a peony in full bloom. How could one possibly resist? If I'm seeming like a complete crazy lady who has lost touch with reality and has started a sordid love affair with a head of cabbage, so be it. I can take it.

Now what does one do with a big head of cabbage in the middle of winter? Coleslaw season is months away, you say. Well, I like to braise it. In garlic and butter and bit of stock. It's mellow and earthy and pairs well with a number of different dishes (my favorite being roasted pork tenderloin with apples). Now, that said, this is less of a recipe per se and more of a technique. It's a simple and straightforward braising method that can be applied to various other types of cabbage and leafy greens. This post hopefully, though, will serve as a reminder to the various ways cabbage can be enjoyed - outside of coleslaw season.

So if you are lucky enough to find a head of gorgeous savoy cabbage, don't resist. The pretty quickly becomes the delicious with just a few staple ingredients and a little love.

Garlicky Braised Savoy Cabbage

1 head savoy cabbage
3 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
salt & pepper to taste

Peel tough outer layers from the cabbage and discard. Quarter and remove the core. Slice leaves into bite-sized pieces.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. When the foam subsides, add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add in the cabbage and stock and stir to combine. Cover the pot and braise for about 30 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the cabbage is very tender.

Season well with salt and pepper and serve.


  1. Love your intro, made me smile! Sure is a pretty head of cabbage!

  2. This looks SO fabulous! I'll definitely be making this.

  3. Another fabulous recipe! Thanks Rachel for turning my kitchen into a culinary delight!

  4. Wow - this is a truly great recipe. It brings cabbage -- a difficult vegetable for a lot of people -- right into line as a complement to a main dish without dominating it. I served it with pan-seared venison loin, cherry-lingonberrry sauce and roasted fingerlings, and it elevated the whole dish. Rich and mild, yet flavorful, it added depth and contrast to each item on the plate, and brought the whole thing into harmony. And I was just looking to get rid of the cabbage in the fridge without offending anyone!

    Really great -- thank you!