If you eat seasonally you know that there are certain times of the year when you swear you don’t want to see another ear of corn or have to figure out another use for bok choy. The end of a CSA season and the beginning are kind of like that for me because I really never ate those kinds of vegetables until this year and am still learning how to navigate them. Turnips, collards, cabbage, and sweet potatoes were all fairly new territory, but now they’re becoming a regular part of dinner (minus the collards). Thanks to the magic of the Internet I can now have thousands of recipes for any of the vegetables and can prepare them in a way that is the most appealing to me, which usually entails cheese or soy sauce.

Last week was the second to last CSA box for the season, and it’s kind of funny how it was brimming with the vegetables I mentioned above, along with cauliflower, broccoli, tatsoi, and… tomatoes. Pretty sizeable, ripe red tomatoes as though it was August outside. This is the beauty of South Carolina, really. We can have it all, well almost. But tonight I wanted to want it all, and decided to roll up my sleeves and dive right into some of the “eh” vegetables: turnips and cabbage.

I’ve actually made a cabbage recipe before and posted it here, and what I made tonight is a deconstructed version of it. Here’s the recipe/method:

Sauteed Cabbage

Ingredients

  • half a head of cabbage, tough outer leaves removed
  • half of a medium onion
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • sprinkle of salt

Directions

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Once the oil is warm, add the onions and stir to coat with oil. Sprinkle with salt, and saute for five minute, flipping occasionally.
  2. Once the onions are translucent, add in the cabbage, and stir it up real nice so that it gets some of the oil action too.
  3. Toss in the caraway seeds and give it an additional stir.
  4. Keep the heat at medium high and stir and flip the veggies for five more minutes, or until they are browned to your liking. Add cracked black peppercorn to taste and serve.

This also tastes great re-heated for lunch the next day. Patrick said that he loved onions, and loved cabbage, but not together, so there’s that. Cabbage is so inexpensive (I saw it for .39/lb at Bi-Lo last winter!) it’s worth experimenting with. If you need more convincing to eat cabbage, it’s full of vitamin K. What other things do you know of right off hand that even contain vitamin K? It also has lots of vitamin C, folate, and fiber. It’s the trifecta of foods- cheap, easy, delicious.

The next creation was potato and turnip gratin, something that in theory sounded good and got great reviews on the Martha Stewart website, but still made me wary. I shouldn’t have even been concerned. I couldn’t even tell that there were turnips in this dish, seriously. The only changes I made were 1) adding a 1/2 cup-ish of grated Parmesan on top 2) not measuring if I used 2 lbs of potatos and turnips, just eyeballing it until the pan was full, and 3) once the tinfoil was removed, I turned the broiler on until the top of the cheese and potatoes were lightly browned, about three minutes.

These too, were amazing reheated for lunch today. Make one of these things, or better yet, both. Then you can thank yourself for eating inexpensively and seasonally, which is better for everyone in the long run. Now if only I can acquire a taste for those collards and radishes… which you can enjoy those and more by going ahead and signing up for a share of this robust and diverse spring harvest from Pinckney’s Produce. Seriously, my palate has expanded more than I can explain over this past year thanks to these weekly boxes, but maybe I should save this love letter to the farm til after this week’s (last! sob!) box that I’ll pick up today.