Caraflex cabbage is a sweet and tender cabbage, that is hands down the best tasting cabbage available and a great alternative or addition to salad. Even if you are not a cabbage-lover you will enjoy Caraflex. The Caraflex variety is lovingly nicknamed “Conehead” cabbage because of its striking resemblance to the Saturday Night Live characters of the same name. This charming quirk can make it less popular than its cabbage counterparts at farmer’s markets, which are one of the few places you can find it.
Fun Fact: In mythology, Dionysus, the god of wine, drives King Lycurgus of the Edonians so bonkers that he accidentally murders his own son in a bout of lunacy. After the incident, Lycurgus cried tears that sprouted into…cabbages! The Greeks and Romans, legends aside, placed great emphasis on cabbage’s healing qualities. And for good reason—cabbage is high in potassium (which helps regulate blood pressure), is an excellent source of Vitamins K and C, and contains phyto-chemicals like thiocyanates, which are powerful antioxidants.
Putting It Together
Roasted or Grilled Onions, Fennel, and Cabbage
Makes about 4 servings.
Ingredients: Depending on size you are going to use about 1 fennel bulb and ½ cabbage.
Prep: Slice fennel lengthwise ½ inch thick, cabbage into 1 inch discs, onions into wedges. Either toss or brush with olive or canola oil.
To roast: Set oven to 400 degrees. Brush baking pan with oil and cook for 30 minutes or until they begin to brown and soften.
To grill: Cook the fennel for 5 minutes, cabbage for 30, and Onions for 20. Turn once.
If you like: You can then toss with Parmesan Cheese, Balsamic Vinegar, Vinaigrette, Salt, and Pepper.
The following recipes include papalo, an ancient Mexican herb, that is truly fantastic herb and hard to find. It tastes a bit like an arugula, cilantro and lime. It is used raw just as you would use parsley and cilantro. Papalo is included as The Herb and Allium of the Week.
Cabbage, Fennel, Onion, and Red Pepper Slaw with Papalo
Makes about 4 servings
Prep: VERY thinly slice ½ cabbage into discs, 1 fennel lengthwise, ¼ onion, and 1 roasted red pepper. Whisk together ½ cup mayo, ¼ cup sour cream, 1 tbsp lemon, and any of the optional ingredients below to make the dressing.
Optional ingredients: 2 tbsp papalo, parsley, or other green herb; 1 tbsp balsamic (to taste); ½ tbsp hot sauce.
Combine: Toss the cut veggies and your homemade dressing!
Cucumber, Fennel, and Papalo Pasta Salad
Makes about 4 servings
Prep: Peel and chop 3 cucumbers into ½ inch pieces, thinly slice ¼ fennel, chop ¼ cup of onions and onion tops. Whisk together 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp chopped papalo, ½ tsp sugar or 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar to make the dressing. Cook 1 cup dry pasta**, rinse with cold water and toss with vegetables and dressing.
**You have to try the Pasta of the Week Sfoglini rye trumpets, which is made with local grains!