Image adapted from ali graney, Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0

Green cabbage is in season, and we hope that you’re taking advantage of this versatile and cheap vegetable. We’re all about cold-weather recipes right now, so save the coleslaw for next summer’s picnics. Here are three distinct cooking methods for preparing green cabbage this winter.

1. Soft ‘n’ Buttery                                                

Soft and buttery cabbage is what you want when you’re craving something simple and soothing. Not too heavy, not too difficult to prepare. Chop your cleaned cabbage into large chunks, anywhere from 1- to 3-inch pieces. Place a few dabs of unsalted butter in a deep skillet and heat until just melted. Sauté a bit of chopped onion and garlic in the butter for a minute or two, or until fragrant. Then add the chopped cabbage, along with a healthy pinch of sea salt, and stir until well coated in the butter.

Add enough water to the mixture to just cover the bottom of the pan; somewhere around ½ to 1 cup should do the trick. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Cover the pan and cook until cabbage is very soft, about 10 to 20 minutes. Check the cabbage every few minutes to make sure the water hasn’t all evaporated—if so, add a bit more to keep the mixture from burning. Finish off with salt to taste and a smattering of minced fresh parsley.

2. Crisp ‘n’ Golden

If you want something with a little more of an edge to it, try your cabbage crisp and golden by cooking it in the oven at a high temperature—not unlike the technique for making roasted Brussels sprouts. In fact, you can substitute chopped cabbage in for Brussels sprouts in such recipes. Most will go something like this: Toss chopped pieces of cabbage in ample olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on a baking sheet and cook in a 350-400°F until browned and lightly crisped, about 20 to 35 minutes.

Finish your crisped cabbage off as you would Brussels: top with goat or Parmesan cheese, crumbled bacon pieces, or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice (or go all out and add them all in!).

3. Cheesy ‘n’ Bubbly

For the ultimate comfort experience, when all you crave is warm cheese and a thick sauce, cheesy and bubbly cabbage is your route. In other words, make yourself a giant casserole dish of cabbage gratin (yes, other vegetables besides potatoes make for excellent gratins!). You can easily use chopped cabbage in any gratin recipe. Simply chop your cabbage and steam it gently until just tender. Then use as the filling for your gratin, and top off with cheeses of choice—try cheddar or Asiago.

Cabbage is a pretty versatile vegetable, so feel free to experiment with your gratin by adding in any of the following: potatoes, root vegetables, broccoli, or ham. Make it vegetarian by adding lentils or white beans to the gratin!

Image adapted from ali graney, Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0