Thursday, July 17, 2014

Featured Vegetable this Week: SWEETHEART CABBAGE

by Andrea Yoder

This summer cabbage has become one of our favorites over the past several years since we started growing it. Not all cabbages fare well in the early part of the season, so we save the bulk of our cabbage plantings for the fall when the weather is more cool and the cabbages thrive. Sweetheart cabbage is a little different though. It’s characterized by a pointy head with tightly wrapped leaves. It is known as a salad cabbage and has a mild, sweet flavor with tender leaves. It grows well even in the early part of the summer.

Sweetheart cabbage is characterized by a pointy head.
Since sweetheart cabbage is known as a salad cabbage, it can be used in a variety of raw preparations. I recommend slicing it thinly or shredding it for use in vegetable slaws or other raw salads. It can also be used in spring rolls, or use the leaves as a wrap in place of tortillas or bread. Sweetheart cabbage is also tasty when lightly cooked. It’s an excellent candidate for a stir-fry alongside a host of other early summer vegetables including snow peas, broccoli, carrots, onions, garlic and summer squash. You could also use it in a filling for egg rolls or just simply saute it with butter and fresh garlic.

Store your sweetheart cabbage loosely wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Lightly rinse the outer leaves before using. If you don’t use the entire cabbage for one preparation, wrap the remaining portion of cabbage and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

Thai Beef Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
This recipe was adapted from The Frog Commissary Cookbook. It is a simple way to turn leftover steak into the next day’s lunch or a quick summer dinner. Feel free to substitute or add other vegetables to the mix as they are available, such as sweet peppers, broccoli, kohlrabi, etc.

Thai Beef Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

4 to 6 servings

Spicy Peanut Dressing:
½ cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
⅓ cup sunflower oil
1 tsp salt
2 tsp maple syrup 
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 ¼ tsp soy sauce
1 ¼ tsp siracha or hot sauce (optional) 
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp lime juice
½ cup chopped salted, roasted peanuts

12-16 oz cooked, rare steak (sirloin, flank or other of your choosing), cut into 1 ½” x ¼” strips 
1 large or 2 small cucumbers, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 cup snow peas, stems removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup shredded carrots
2 cups finely sliced sweetheart cabbage
¾ cup thinly sliced onion
4 oz salad mix, lettuce or other salad greens

1. Prepare the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients (except for the peanuts). Refrigerate until ready to use. Stir in the peanuts just before serving.

2. About 10 minutes before serving, combine all the veggies, except for the salad mix, in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss the vegetables with enough of the dressing so that everything is lightly coated. Portion the salad greens onto individual serving plates. Top the greens with some of the vegetable mixture, slices of beef, and chopped peanuts. Drizzle with more of the dressing.

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