Red or Green, Cabbage Stars in Dishes Beyond Just Coleslaw
There's no need for you to hesitate over buying a large cabbage, because leftovers – whether green or red – brings crunch and flavor to salads, soups, stews and even pastries. Both raw and cooked cabbage work equally as well in these dishes, so hold on to cooked cabbage or cut off only what you need from a whole head of cabbage and save the rest in the fridge.
Salads with leftover cabbage come in an endless variety. If you have enough uncooked cabbage to make an entire salad, pair it with sliced carrots, fresh mint, yogurt, cumin and coriander for a Middle Eastern salad, or use thinly sliced apples and toasted walnuts for a version of a Waldorf salad. Simply toss extra coleslaw or cooked cabbage into a green salad for extra flavor and texture.
Soups and Stews
Cabbage works especially well in beef-barley soup or beef stew, giving a tang to contrast the rich meat. Smaller amounts of cabbage add flavor and crunch to chicken stew or mushroom soup, whether you're serving the soup homemade or from a can. For something a little out of the ordinary, make a soup primarily with the cabbage, and add some potatoes for substance and some spicy sausage for flavor.
Leftover cabbage gives grain dishes extra vitamins and texture. Try cabbage cooked in bulgur, couscous, rice or quinoa, or add it to the grains after they're cooked so the cabbage retains its crunch. Add a handful of cabbage to the white cream sauce you use for pasta Alfredo or to a white mushroom pasta sauce.
You wouldn't think twice about adding a lettuce leaf to your tuna, ham or turkey sandwich, so think of cabbage in the same way. Cabbage leaves are too tough to be added whole, but a few cuts, such as you would do when making coleslaw, transforms the cabbage leaves into crunchy strands that balance the richness and smoothness of most any sandwich.
Most of the U.S. is familiar with apple strudel, but many Eastern European countries bake savory strudels made with cabbage. Because you won't be using a full head of cabbage, supplement your leftover cabbage with a few apple slices in your favorite strudel for a sweet and savory combo.
Susan Lundman began writing about her love of cooking, ingredient choices, menu planning and healthy eating after working for 20 years on children's issues at a nonprofit organization. She has written about food online professionally for ten years on numerous websites, and has provided family and friends with homemade recipes and stories about culinary adventures. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.