Brassica oleracea capitata
October - February
The ancient Greeks believed cabbage (which at that time was a wild leafy variety that doesn’t form heads) sprang from Zeus’s sweat, which might be a reference to its smell after cooking. The Greeks would also say “cabbage served twice is death,” hinting that it’s best to eat up your serving in the first sitting.
There are green, red, purple, white and combinations of colors, all with different flavors. Red tends to be sweeter than green. It’s important to choose organic with cabbage as they are vulnerable to many pests and conventional growers tend to douse them with chemicals. When purchasing, make sure the stem end looks freshly cut, the surface has no bruises or significant damage to the outer leaves (some damage is normal from transporting).
Nutrition: Cabbage is considered a “heavy feeder,” which means it soaks up all the nutrients in soil—which also means those nutrients are stored in the vegetable that we eat. Being darker in color is a big clue that red cabbage contains more nutrients than green. For instance, red cabbage contains 100 percent recommended daily value of vitamin C, while green cabbage contains only 35 percent. Fermenting into sauerkraut adds more nutrition from the active bacteria and yeasts. It’s also said to be good for the liver.