Friday, April 30, 2010

Sautéed Savoy Cabbage with Fennel, Spring Onion, Green Garlic and Orange Peel

I don't always enjoy the weather here in our northern climes.  Sometimes I'm really grumpy about the rain.  And sometimes I'm awfully tired of being cold.  But when I can walk into my local co-op grocery store from October to right now, and buy a beautiful head of locally grown savoy cabbage, I get all warm inside.

We've been eating a lot of this stuff.  It's sweeter and crunchier than those big round balls of green and purple cabbage that go into cole slaw, cooks up quickly, makes a beautiful bed for roasted fish, is a nutritious filler for stir-frys, its crinkly leaves can be parboiled and stuffed (oh, just gave myself an idea), and it can even be eaten raw.
Back here when I roasted the duck, I said I would post the cabbage you see on the plate. So even though I didn't get a good photo of it, then or since, I think the recipe is so fine that I'm going to make good on my promise.  Then you can take your own photo.

I used a Cara Cara orange in this recipe, a short season variety that is no longer available up here. If you can't find one, substitute Meyer lemon, navel orange, or sweet tangerine peel.  Be sure to remove all the bitter white pith from the inside of the peel, then slice it finely into 1 to 2-inch strips.

Fresh fennel, spring onion and green garlic are always in my fridge this time of year; I can't get enough of them.  If you have access to them in your area, go get 'em.  They are such a compliment to so many spring dishes, not the least of which is this simple and quick sautéed melange.

Everything is thinly sliced before sautéeing.  To prepare the cabbage, cut the head in half and cut out the solid core. I found that cutting it into quarters made the slicing easier.

Cut the fronds from the fennel bulb and peel the outer layer if it's tough. Cut it in half and thinly slice crosswise.

Remove the outer layer of skin from both the spring onion and green garlic, slice off the roots and thinly slice the bulbs up to the neck of the stalk for the onion, and up to where the white goes pink then turns to green for the garlic.

Sautéed Savoy Cabbage with Fennel, Spring Onion, Green Garlic & Orange Peel
(print recipe)
Christine's original recipe
1 medium head savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
1 green garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 of a fennel bulb, thinly sliced
Peel from 1/2 of a Cara Cara orange, thinly sliced
Juice from 1 Cara Cara orange
Olive oil for the pan
Fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper to taste
A dash of dry white wine wouldn't hurt either (what can I say? I just add when the whim hits me, and I don't measure.)

Heat a heavy skillet over medium.  Add several teaspoons of olive oil.
Sauté the fennel, onion and garlic until softened, about 3 minutes. Adjust the heat so it doesn't burn.
Add the orange strips and toss to coat.  Add the cabbage, orange juice and white wine, if using, and toss with tongs until the cabbage is coated with the liquid.
Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, turning often with the tongs.  When the liquid is but a glaze in the bottom of the pan, the cabbage will be wilted but with a slight crispness to it.
Remove the pan from the heat, season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper if desired.  Serve while it's hot.

Happy Eating! 

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