More Cabbage Than You Can Eat
Can you preserve cabbage? Yes. You can can it like most vegetables or make it into sauerkraut. I would have canned it if I had many rows of it, but we managed to harvest about 6 heads this year. So, I did the next best thing: freeze it.
Like most hearty, leafy greens, cabbage takes to freezing quite well. The key is blanching it first. With this method, you won’t be able to make coleslaw with it, but you can defrost it and add it to stir-fries or soups.
How to Freeze Cabbage:
Start with the freshest cabbage available. Remove any wilted, outer leaves and wash thoroughly. We had to soak ours and wash a few times; the slugs really liked our cabbage this year. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. You will also need a big pot/bowl filled with ice water to cool down and stop the cooking after it blanches.
While the water is heating:
Shred it into 1/4 strips. You can cut them bigger if you want. I like to cut them smaller when I am freezing produce.
Once the water is at a rapid boil, toss a few handfuls of shredded cabbage into the pot. Let it blanch for 90 seconds. Then remove it and immediately place it in the bowl of ice water. Let it sit in the ice water until it completely cools down (should take another 90 seconds or so).
Once it has cooled, remove it from the water and place it into a colander or salad spinner. I give it a good squeeze before I drop it into the spinner to get as much water out as possible.
After a couple of spins, lay it out on a towel lined cookie sheet to absorb any water that might still be dripping off.
Put the cooked cabbage to a zip plastic bag. Close it up, but leave 1/2 inch or so open. Roll up the bad and squeeze as much air out as possible then snap it shut all the way.
Label and store it in the freezer. Six heads filled 4 gallon size plastic baggies. If I had more or wanted to store them for months, I would have vacuum sealed them. I will most likely use these bags before the end of summer.
Fried Cabbage with Bacon
Here’s a quick and easy way to prepare cabbage. It’s called Fried Cabbage, but it’s more like sauteed cabbage. Nonetheless, it’s a Southern favorite and makes a tasty side dish.
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Start by cooking three slices of thick bacon until crispy then remove ( keep the fat). I have a preference for pepper bacon.
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Add one sliced red onion and one clove of garlic, crushed. Cook until softened, not browned.
Add one head of shredded cabbage. Cook it until it’s softened and about half the volume. Salt and pepper to taste.
Chop up the crispy bacon and sprinkle on top. Enjoy!