For Immediate Release
September 13, 2013
William Troxell
717-694-3596
pvmrp@embarqmail.com

 

Enjoy Some Fresh Pennsylvania Cabbage

Home-grown Pennsylvania cabbage is high in vitamin C and fiber as well as the cancer-fighting indole compounds. Cabbage is grown on about 1,200 acres in Pennsylvania, ranking the state thirteenth in cabbage production in the nation. It is grown on about 360 farms and brings in three to five million dollars in sales to growers. While cabbage is harvested thoughout the summer, the fall cabbage crop harvest is now well underway and will continue until winter sets in.

Eating cabbage – and other vegetables in the cabbage family like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale – has been linked to decreases in cholesterol levels, blood pressure, peptic ulcers and various kinds of cancer as well as to increases in mental sharpness. The cabbage family is also known as the Cruciferae family because their flowers are shaped like a cross. According to the Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition of the University of California at Berkeley, cruciferous vegetables contain indoles — nitrogen compounds — that seem to protect against cancers of the stomach and large intestine. They also are generally high in fiber and antioxidants like vitamin C and carotenoids. Antioxidants neutralize the action of free radicals — unstable oxygen molecules — which promote cancer. Cruciferous vegetables also contain compounds that stimulate the release of anticancer enzymes. Dietary experts have long recommended including cruciferous vegetables in the diet regularly, at least several times a week.

Some people object to the odor produced by cooking cabbage. The odor is caused by the release of sulfur compounds as the cabbage cooks. While boiling cabbage in large amounts of water in an open pot will minimize the characteristic strong cabbage taste, it maximizes the loss of nutrients. Steaming, stir-frying, microwaving or quick cooking in small amounts of water minimizes nutrient loss in the cooking process. Of course, cabbage can be enjoyed raw by itself or in salads and slaws.

The following finalist recipes from the 2013 Pennsylvania Vegetable Recipe Contest are tasty ways to include cabbage in your menus.

Cabbage and Shrimp with Easy Thai Peanut Sauce
Serves 2

1 medium onion
1 small head of cabbage
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup uncooked instant brown rice
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon srichacha
8 ounces uncooked shrimp, deveined & tails removed

Roughly chop the onion and the cabbage into bite-size pieces. Sauté the onion and cabbage in a large pot with the olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Once the veggies are softened (about 10 minutes) add the broth and uncooked rice. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until the rice is done. While the veggies and rice are cooking, make the peanut sauce. Whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, lime juice and srichacha, then set aside. Once the rice is done, add the shrimp, cooking for about 2 to minutes until opaque. Top with peanut sauce, divide among 2 bowls and serve.

Finalist recipe submitted by Kelly Paul, Harrisburg

Seaslaw Salad
Serves 6

1/4 cup Chardonnay wine
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons honey
4 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped or 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
3 1/2 cups finely shredded white cabbage
1 1/2 cups finely chopped green pepper
1 small red or purple onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups chopped or cubed fresh cooked crab meat
1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, halved and thinly sliced.
1/2pound medium or large shrimp, cooked and cooled

Prepare a lemon Chardonnay vinaigrette dressing by placing the first seven ingredients (Chardonnay wine, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, basil, celery salt, and cayenne pepper) in a blender and blending until uniform. Combine 3/4 cup of the vinaigrette with the remaining ingredients except the shrimp in a large mixing bowl and toss gently with two forks to blend. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Remix several times while chilling.

Serving Options 1) Halve a honeydew melon about 8″ in diameter and scoop out the seeds. Slice three whole circles from each half. Remove rind from circles and place melon on individual plates. Place a scoop of the Seaslaw Salad in center of each plate and arrange shrimp on each serving. 2) Hollow out the center of a fresh cabbage (saving a few of the outer leaves to place on serving platter) and cut bottom side to sit flat. Place the Seaslaw Salad in the hollow and arrange shrimp around the bottom on the fresh cabbage leaves. This option is especially nice for a picnic.

Finalist recipe submitted by Mary Ellen Miller, Orwigsburg

Red Cabbage, Red Quinoa Stew
Serves 5

1 cup water
1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cooking apple, peeled or 1/2 cup dried apples
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried minced onion
1 teaspoon garlic minced
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Mirin rice cooking wine
28 1/2-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes
10-ounce package red cabbage

Prepare ingredients and then place all ingredients into a pressure cooker. Cook on medium pressure for 4 minutes. Take the cooker off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes – quick release if needed. Serve over leafy greens. To cook in a soup pot, place all ingredients into a soup pot and stir. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 35 minutes or until sweet potatoes and cabbage are to your liking, stirring several times. Serve over leafy greens

Finalist recipe submitted by BJ Reed and Tom Sabo, Chambersburg

Quick Buying Tips for Pennsylvania Cabbage
The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program offers these tips when buying fresh cabbage:
—          Select firm, compact heads.
—          Choose heads that are free of yellow, wilted or splitting leaves.
—          Avoid cutting cabbage until just before use.

The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program
is a state-wide marketing order established by a grower referendum,
governed by a grower board and funded by grower assessments.

The Program’s sole purpose is to serve the vegetable growers of Pennsylvania by promoting Pennsylvania-grown vegetables and funding practical vegetable production research.