Anna Lamotte who runs the Guardswell Farm, near Inchture, with her sister, Kirstin, makes the case for the under-valued cabbage.
The king (and queen) of January: the oft berated, underrated and ne’er celebrated (except in Stuttgart and Slovakia) cabbage.
Sadly, the cabbage is usually rejected from the plates of children, and generally because of the manner in which it has been dealt.
Overcooked in under-salted water, blanched of its chlorophyll and devoid of all nutrition, no wonder it is shunted to one side.
It is certainly making a rise for fame in the UK, but across the Continent cabbage is king for its wonderful ability to ferment into the tangy, crunchy, gut-adored sauerkraut.
In Korea it mingles with chilli and ginger, pushed down in a crock (or dok), transforming into the life-affirming, nostril-clearing kimchi.
In the winter months the idea of a ’slaw recipe isn’t particularly appealing when you want something to warm the cockles. With cabbages coming out of our ears at the moment at Guardswell (the smaller guys, who have been hanging out in the field a little longer), we’ve been chomping it with each meal.
I am happy to share our favourite recipe.
Grab a cabbage and cut it in half, and then quarter. Cabbages are notorious for knife injuries, so make sure your knife is sharp and your chopping board stable; a knife can very easily slip off the outer leaf of a cabbage and cause injury. Cut out the heart (and nibble, or feed to the goats) and finely slice your cabbage into ribbons (1 medium cabbage will happily feed four as a side dish).
Heat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/400F/Gas Mark 6, and pop your ribboned cabbage into a roasting tray. Slosh a relatively liberal amount of olive oil on to it, as well as a pretty good crack of pepper and salt, and toss it all together.
Pop into the oven, and every time you see a little browning (or something beyond that) atop, give it a toss. After about 15 minutes remove from the oven and squeeze the juice of a half lemon on top. Check the seasoning and then pour into a serving bowl. You can then pimp it with whatever you fancy – how about some Parmesan shavings, or handfuls of herbs, or just crack on as it is.
It sounds stupidly simple, and not very exciting, but I promise that you’ll be eating it with every meal.