Winter Vegetables, Spicy and Quickly Pickled, Bring The Heat

Elmwood Stock Farm took a leaf from Dad's garden system and tucked winter-friendly, fresh, organic Napa cabbage into the first winter CSA pickup last Saturday. Dad cherished this vegetable, perhaps because he liked its flavor, but more likely because he liked eating fresh vegetables from his garden and cold frames as many months of the year as possible. Dad chopped the stemmy, juicy cabbage fine and made salads with it, adding carrots, radishes, onion—whatever he had—plus a vinaigrette or semi-homemade buttermilk ranch dressing.

Confession: I never liked this cabbage much. I wanted to, but that taste bud just would not mature.

CSAs offer second chances with vegetables less loved. I thought of Quick Pickles, a book I located on a remote shelf. Napa (or "Nappa," or "Chinese") cabbage stars in several Asian-inflected recipes. I settled on a version of Thai Pickled Cabbage, modified slightly here and there. I used homemade ketchup and backed off the hot peppers.

It's less beautiful pickled than fresh. And far more tasty.

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Rona RobertsComment