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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Cabbage — A Delicious and Healthy Late Fall Crop

As a popular fall crop, cabbage is one of the most versatile vegetables to come out of the ground about this time every year. Thanks to good friends, we’ve already enjoyed a few nice, crisp heads. We’ve put it in soup, baked, fried and boiled it, shred it for coleslaw and now, we are anticipating the joy of sharing (and eating!) sauerkraut off the pantry shelf this winter.

As I’ve said before, I remember as a child growing up in Avery County, seeing the awesome cabbage fields that grew there. It seemed that each mountainside was covered in cabbage in the fall, creating a breathtaking scene from the roadside.

A cousin to Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and kale, several varieties of cabbage grow in this country, with green cabbage a common link to the North Carolina mountains.

There’s so many ways to enjoy cabbage. I hope these recipes will become some of your favorites.

Southern Fried Cabbage

6 slices bacon, chopped

1 cup onion, chopped

1 large head cabbage, cored and chopped

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Cook bacon in a large pan over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 tbsp. of the bacon grease and discard the rest.

In the same pan, return the 2 tbsp. bacon grease and add the chopped onion, cooking over medium-high heat until it is soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in cabbage and continue to cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Mix well. Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.

Just before serving, mix the bacon into the cooked cabbage. Serve immediately.

Cabbage And Apples Casserole

1 med. head cabbage, coarsely chopped 

2 cups apples, sliced, peeled

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup of fine bread crumbs 

6 Tbsp. butter, melted

Boil chopped cabbage 3-5 minutes, until slightly tender but still crunchy. Drain well. 
Layer cabbage and apples in a casserole dish or glass baking pan, sprinkling sugar and bread crumbs on each layer. 

Pat top layer flat before adding last crumbs. Pour melted butter over top of casserole. Cover and bake at 350° For 45 minutes, or until hot throughout. Remove cover during last 15 minutes. 

(The lady who shared this said, “Don’t knock it until you try it. We love this dish. It’s really good with a dash of cinnamon mixed  in with the ingredients.) 

Amish Cabbage Salad

(Marinated Slaw)

1 gallon shredded cabbage

1 Tbs. salt

1 medium-sized onion, diced up

1 cup green peppers, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1½ cups white sugar

¾ cup white vinegar

¾ cups vegetable oil

Put shredded cabbage in a dish or pan and spread out until 1½ inches thick. Shake salt over surface of cabbage. Do not stir for one hour. Then add onion, peppers and celery. Stir well. In a medium saucepan, bring to boil sugar, vinegar, and oil. Pour over cabbage mixture while still boiling. Refrigerate. Do not stir until cold

Once cold, stir well and store in glass container. It keeps for days in the refrigerator and stays really crisp.

Cabbage Rolls

1 large head of cabbage

1 to ½ lb. lean ground beef

½ cup instant or cooked rice

½ tsp. salt 

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1 egg, slightly beaten

½ cup finely chopped onion

½ to 1 tsp. cinnamon, divided (to taste)

1 can (10 ½ oz.) tomato soup, undiluted

1 can (14.5 ounces) tomatoes

Tear the leaves off the cabbage and cook in boiling water or steam until wilted enough to be flexible. Cool. Mix ground beef, rice, egg, onion, and salt, pepper, and ½ tsp. cinnamon together. 

Form a few tablespoons of the mixture into a roll, then roll up in a cabbage leaf. Secure rolls with toothpicks. Combine the soup and tomatoes and pour into a large baking dish or pan. Place cabbage rolls on top. Sprinkle with about ½ tsp. of cinnamon. Cover and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Spoon soup mixture over rolls when serving.
Serves 6.

Easy Coleslaw 

½ head cabbage

1 large carrot

1 med. onion

1½ cup mayonnaise

3 Tbs. sugar

3 Tbs. vinegar

½ tsp. salt

Finely shred or chop the cabbage, carrot and onion. Mix well. Combine mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, and salt. Add to shredded vegetables and chill.

Tasty Cabbage Pot

½ head cabbage cut up or more

½ cup rice

1 cup tomato sauce or tomato paste with water, and/or canned tomatoes (crushed or diced, not whole)

1 med. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

Mixed herbs to taste, plus salt and pepper

Simmer in a large pot for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally.

Or, place all ingredients in a crockpot. Mix and cook on low setting for 8 hours.