This workhorse of a vegetable belongs to the same family as its trendier cruciferous siblings, kale and Brussels sprouts. The cabbage spans a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes; the most familiar variety in the U.S. is the Dutch cabbage, with smooth green or purple heads that change shape with the seasons. Savoy cabbage features crinkled leaves and a sweeter flavor, while Napa, also known as Chinese or celery cabbage, has an oblong shape and ridged leaves. Known for its versatility, cabbage is a major ingredient in kitchens around the world and takes many forms, from fermented preparations like Korea's kimchi and Eastern Europe's sauerkraut to Hawaiian cabbage salads, Hungarian stuffed cabbage leaves, coleslaws, braised sides, bright stir fries, and more.
HOW TO BUY
Choose heads of cabbage that are dense and firm, with leaves that are crisp and free of any blemishes, cracks, or signs of decay.
HOW TO STORE
Whole heads of cabbage can be stored in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for about a week. Store partial heads wrapped tightly with plastic wrap in the fridge and use within a couple of days.
HOW TO PREPARE
Rinse in cold water, then trim the outer leaves before cutting the head in quarters and slicing off the core from each segment. You can then shred the cabbage for slaws, salads, or stir fries, throw the wedges on your grill.