Recipe: A Pickle and a Cabbage Walk into a Jar

Cabbage is a leafy vegetable that varies in color from yellow-green to red-purple. It is a wonderfully versatile vegetable so it can be used in a wide array of manners: raw, cooked or fermented. With less than 20 calories per half cup cooked, it’s worth making room on your plate for cabbage.


Cabbage is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale. Cabbage is believed to originate from Asia Minor. Its ability to tolerate cold temperatures led to the spread of its cultivation across Europe. Cabbage was introduced to the United States by early European settlers.

Cabbage Nutrition Profile

Although cabbages are composed of 90 percent water, they contain many vitamins and minerals essential for the proper functioning of our bodies and our immune system.

Cabbage is rich in vitamin C, B-vitamins, potassium, iron, and fiber. Not only does including cabbage in your diet ensure you get your fill of nutrients, but it can also protect you against many ailments and diseases.

How to Prepare:

  • When buying cabbage, look for a fresh and heavy head. Avoid cabbages that have withered leaves or brown spots on the leaves.
  • You can store cabbage in a refrigerator for a few days.
  • When cutting a cabbage, remove the outer layer of leaves and wash the head in the water. First, slice the cabbage in half through the core. Now slice the halves into quarters. Remove the core and chop the cabbage as you want.

Cabbage can be cooked in various ways. Boiling, frying, sautéing, and steaming are a few ways in which the popular cabbage dishes are cooked.

  • To boil cabbage, first boil water in a pan and then put the cabbage wedges or slices in it.
  • Cook uncovered to allow the smell to escape.
  • Afterward, cover the pan to make the cabbage crisp-tender.

Chopped cabbage is usually sautéed.

  • In a skillet, put oil and when it gets heated, add the chopped cabbage.
  • Stir occasionally, until the cabbage gets tender-crisp. It should take 4 to 8 minutes.

Cabbage wedges may be steamed by putting a steamer basket in a saucepan and filling it with water.

Pickled Cabbage Recipe

  • 1/2Small/medium head red cabbage
  • 1cupwater
  • 1/2cupapple cider vinegar
  • 1/2cupred wine vinegar
  • 2tspmuscovado sugar (or coconut sugar, brown sugar, pure cane sugar)
  • 2cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2Dried bay leaves
  • 2tspcaraway seeds (optional)
  • 1tspsalt
  • black pepper
  1. Make at least 4 hours before serving.
  2. Slice cabbage in half. Slice one half in half again. Remove the core. Shred cabbage finely with a mandolin slicer or very sharp knife. Place in a large glass bowl or jar.
  3. Place water, vinegar, and sugar in a bowl and whisk together until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Stir in the smashed cloves, bay leaves, caraway seeds (if using), salt, and a good grind of black pepper. Pour over the cabbage. Seal or tightly cover the jar/bowl and let sit on the counter for 3-4 hours. Stir then seal and place in the fridge until chilled (at least 1 hour).
  4. Stir before serving and be sure to not grab any of the garlic cloves as you serve.
  5. Note: At first the liquid will not cover all of the cabbage but it starts to soften and will be fully covered after just a few hours. Best served at least 1 day after making. Keeps for about 2 weeks sealed in the fridge.
  6. Note: The caraway seeds are completely optional. They lend a "rye bread" sort of flavor that I adore. I buy them in small quantities in the bulk spice section. You can really get creative with the add-ins or keep it simple without the garlic, bay leaves, and caraway seeds.
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