Church Farm Ardeley

A Free Range Experience

Savoy Cabbage with Bacon and Balsamic

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How happy was I to get the chance to cook one of these beauties! I love Savoy Cabbage, it is undoubtedly both King and Queen of cabbages, not only for its looks but also its texture and flavour.

Cabbage comes from that family that can often make cooks groan; the brassicas, so things like broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, all those good for you greens which can leave the inexperienced wondering what to do other than boil and serve at Sunday lunch. Not everyone realises how versatile cabbages can actually be, not in the least because there are many different varieties.

Savoy cabbage looks rather different from the others; it is a deep dark green vegetable, with wrinkled crisp leaves and a mellow, nutty taste that goes well with strong flavours such as garlic, venison, and red wine. You can boil it, steam it, fry it, microwave it, do pretty much anything to it really, it always comes out tasting great in my opinion.

It also literally sings out “I am good for you!” It is high in vitamin C as all cabbages are, but`Savoy cabbage in particular is high in a chemical called sinigrin, which is currently a big focus for scientists looking at ways to prevent cancer.

Well if that hasn’t convinced you to try this gorgeous vegetable then I don’t know what will! When it arrives in your box, put it in the fridge straight away to keep its colour and crispness. Try to use the whole cabbage in one go, as a cut cabbage rapidly looses it’s vitamin C content, but if you do need to keep some back, it should last you the whole week.

Today’s recipe is very simple, but it is for me ultimate comfort food in a bowl, and considering how cold it is in my trailer at the moment, this hits just the right spot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 savoy cabbage
  • 1 pack bacon lardons
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded if you prefer)
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar

Method:

Chop the cabbage up into long strips or ribbons, and blanch very quickly in hot water before plunging into cold to stop the cooking.

Dice the onion, and fry in a little butter and olive oil along with the garlic and chilli until softened.

Add the lardons, and continue to fry until the bacon is nice and crisp.

Add the cabbage ribbons, really mixing well to get all that greenery covered in bacony buttery juices.

Add a splash of balsamic vinegar, and continue to cook for a few seconds

Serve in a big bowl with a big dollop of creamy mash potato.

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