Cooking with Cabbage | St. Lawrence University Sustainability Program

Cooking with Cabbage

Monday, October 30, 2017

What can you make from cabbage that’s nutritious and filling, but also tastes good?

This is the question I found myself asking on Friday night, when it was Rose and my turn to cook dinner for the house. After scanning the refrigerator for ingredients and seeing the usual goat’s milk, tofu, cheese, and countless containers of leftovers, my eyes finally settled on the bottom shelf, where our fresh vegetables go. There, I saw only a large number of cabbages. And so, I began to ponder the aforementioned question.

One of the most wonderful things about living on a farm is getting fresh produce. Going out to the garden, picking tomatoes or digging up potatoes, and then cooking them fills me with an incredible sense of accomplishment. However, with summer behind us and autumn gradually turning to winter, we were fast running out of fresh vegetables, and this proved to be a challenge when it came to cooking meals. Seeing as we have tried to cook seasonally, and use whatever we have harvested from the farm in our dinners, the cabbage monopoly in the fridge was more than a little bit of a roadblock.

This was not aided by the fact that I had never even cut a cabbage in my life, much less made a meal out of it. I didn’t even know if it was possible to make a meal out of cabbage. In desperation, I searched half a dozen different cabbage-related phrases in Google and poured over recipes, scanning lists of ingredients and cooking times and evaluating photographs. The search was long and arduous, and in the end, we settled on a vaguely questionable recipe for a cabbage and cheese casserole.

The results were equally questionable, and we all had a good laugh over the unappetizing appearance of the casserole. However, the experience also made me realize how difficult it can be to cook seasonally and utilize all the food that we grow, even the vegetables that are not so easy to make into meals, such as cabbage. In fact, I still don’t know how to turn cabbage into a good meal. But now this is less a roadblock, and more an exciting challenge, an invitation to try new things. And I know that whenever I find my answer, the joy of eating a meal with delicious, fresh vegetables will far outweigh the struggle to make it.