Cabbage Stars In A Family-Favorite Dish…

      Growing up, cabbage was one of my least favorite vegetables–  okay, I don’t think anything in the brassica family was a joy for me to eat –but, now that I’m older and a little wiser, they are quickly becoming one of my favorite vegetables to grow in the garden!  

     I have three different varieties of cabbage planted this year:  Tete Noire, a traditional, red, French variety; Brunswick, a large drumhead cabbage (shown here); and Early Jersey Wakefield, an heirloom from the 1840’s that produces tall, conical heads. 

     I love their beauty –so much so that I don’t just plant them in traditional rows and confine them to the backyard, but I scatter them along the borders of my front yard cottage garden, too.  I love it when stopper’s by point and ask:  “What is that?  Is that a cabbage growing there next to the roses?”  And then – the epiphony hits – and they exclaim,  “It’s beautiful!”

     I also appreciate the many health benefits of cabbage.  They are a great source of vitamin C, packing even more of an anti-oxidant punch than oranges!  They are also a rich source of fiber, iodine, and sulphur (which, combined with the vitamin C is a great detoxifier).  Other nutrients present in cabbage are vitamin-E which keeps the skin, eye and hair healthy, and calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are very useful for overall health.

     But, the thing I’m really starting to love the most about cabbage is cooking with it.  From traditional cole-slaw, to stuffing for fish tacos (and everything in between) there are so many different ways this vegetable can be used.  Whether cooked or raw, when used in a great recipe, cabbage truly can be a joy to eat! 

     The hands down favorite way to eat cabbage, in my family, is inside of a simple, homemade, bierock.  Bierocks are traditional faire for me–I was introduced to them as a little girl by my Purple Grandma, who’s ancestry is Volga German.  Perhaps I wasn’t aware of the cabbage inside of these soft, doughy, delights as a child, but I do remember looking forward to eating them once a year, when Grandma would purchase them, freshly made, from the ladies at her church, then heat them up for us to enjoy. 

     Here is a simple recipe that I use to make them:

  For the dough:  two pounds of pizza dough (either homemade or store bought)

  For the filling:

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound chopped cabbage (cauliflower works, too!)

To Make Filling:

  1.   Brown beef or turkey and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  2.  Steam cabbage (and/or cauliflower) and onion in a colander with a lid placed over a small pot of water – cook for same amount of time that it takes meat to brown.
  3. Mix meat and cabbage together in a bowl and set aside.

To Assemble:

     Cut off an “orange-sized” piece of pizza dough, dust it and your working surface with flour, and roll it out into the shape of a small tortilla.  Spoon filling down the middle of the dough (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup).  Fold both sides over the filling (so that it looks like a burrito), then close up both of the ends by either pinching them together or folding them back (my preferred method).  Repeat with remaining filling and dough.

To cook:

     Place fold side down on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then enjoy!

     I hope they become as much of a family favorite in your house as they are in ours!

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