At this time of year Fethiye’s greengrocers and markets are full of autumn vegetables. One in particular, the humble cabbage, comes in such an enormous sizes that the Fethiye Times team were wondering if with so many delicious recipes, a single mighty Fethiye cabbage could make enough meals for a week.
If you wander around Fethiye’s markets at this time of year you may be more than a little flabbergasted by the size of the cabbages.
Last week we spotted one that weighed in at a hefty 4.550 kilos.
Musing over what could be done with such an enormous vegetable we wondered if one cabbage could make enough meals to last for seven days. Obviously, it depends on whether you actually like cabbage, how many people you are planning to feed, and how greedy you are.
Seven recipes – yes, one for every day of the week!
- Kapuska – Cabbage with bulgur, minced beef and spices. We love this recipe, especially at this time of year.
2. Lahana sarması – stuffed cabbage leaves. This dish dates back to Ottoman times, and despite its simple ingredients it is makes a meal fit for a Sultan.
3. Beyaz Lahana Kavurmamı – sautéed white cabbage
Sufficient white cabbage
1 red pepper
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
Salt, Black pepper
2 tablespoons oil,
A small bunch of dill.
Mince the garlic
Finely chop the onion, peppers, dill and cabbage
Heat the oil in a flying pan until hot
Fry the onion and peppers
Add the dill and garlic and mix well
Then add the chopped cabbage, salt and black pepper to taste
Cook until the cabbage is tender, stirring frequently.
4. Cabbage soup
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds (or 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander)
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (or 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel)
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (or 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin)
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
4 to 5 cups, packed with sliced white cabbage
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (more or less depending on the saltiness of your stock)
250 g grated tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
If using whole spices (coriander, fennel, cumin), grind them in a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder until well ground.
Sauté onions and spices: Heat olive oil and butter in a large, thick bottomed pot on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and stir in the ground spices. Cook until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
Add cabbage and tomatoes: Add the sliced cabbage to the pot and stir to mix the cabbage with the onions. If you are using unsalted stock, sprinkle the cabbage with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the grated tomatoes, with their juices, to the pot. Stir to combine.
Add stock, simmer till done: Add chicken stock to the pot. Bring to a simmer and taste for salt. Add more salt to taste. Lower the heat and cover the pot. Let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cabbage is thoroughly cooked.
Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper to serve.
5. Chicken and cabbage börek
9 sheets of yüfka
I cup cooked and shredded chicken
½ cup grated carrot
½ cup finely chopped cabbage
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
I heaped teaspoon of chilli pepper
2 tblspn yogurt
1 teaspoon white or black pepper powder
Salt to taste
1 egg (beaten) or melted butter
Dried Kekik (thyme) and/or çörek otu (nigella seeds) for sprinkling over the pie
Oil for greasing
To prepare the filling, heat oil in a deep pan then add cabbage and carrots and fry for a couple of minutes then add the chicken and season with vinegar, sauces, salt and pepper. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes and your filling is ready.
Get your yüfka ready… Working quickly is essential as it dries out if left in the air for too long (cover the pastry in a clean damp tea towel if you like).
Place three sheets of the yüfka slightly overlapping each other side by side. Place filling on the wider side and start rolling all three sheets together making a large cigar-shaped roll. Repeat the same with reaming two sets of dough balls (three each).
Now you have three large cigar rolls. Grease a pan and place one roll making and spiral circle. Start with the second roll where the first one ends by merging the edges do the same with third one. Brush the börek with melted butter or an egg wash and sprinkle the herbs on top and cook covered on very low flame. Check the down side if it’s brown (take around 12 to 15 minutes) flip the börek and cook on the other side till light brown.
Flip the pan over a flat plate and cut börek into slices and serve.
Alternatively the börek can be cooked in a pre-heated oven on a greased baking tray for 40 minutes at 160 degs.
6. Lahana salatası – Winter cabbage salad
Cut sufficient cabbage, wash and slice very thinly with a sharp knife.
Grate sufficient carrots.
Place cabbage and carrots in a bowl and dress it with salt, pepper, oil and vinegar or lemon to taste.
Toss well with enough dressing to suit your taste and serve.
7. Bubble and squeak fritters
A firm favourite, there is nothing quite like bubble and squeak on an autumn evening, but this one has a bit of a twist.
And if you have any left over cabbage you can pickle it for later and make this, another delicious Turkish: Lahana turşusu – pickled cabbage
A word of warning
One wise cook writes “Don’t cook the cabbage for more than 5 minutes… the sulphurs in cabbage double between minute 5 and 7 of cooking, causing considerable digestive distress!” at the foot of their recipe for a delicious cabbage curry…
This may well be worth noting… especially if you plan to be in polite company.
But it should be pointed out that regardless of its digestive consequences, cabbage is a very healthy food and idea for those on a diet.