Blanched Cabbage with Butter and Caraway

Gobsmacked. I thought I was pretty well versed in what one could do with cabbage, addicted to the stuff as I am. Whether it’s braised, in stewed, stuffed, boiled, or made into coleslaw, we eat cabbage in every which way around here. But this my friends, this has to be the easiest way to prepare cabbage and still have it taste great. (Boiled cabbage is probably the easiest, but then what you have is just boiled cabbage.) My mother made something like this the other day with curly cabbage. You just simply blanch the torn or roughly cut cabbage leaves in boiling salted water, drain them, and toss with butter, and seasonings. Butter and cabbage together? A dream team. And caraway and celery seeds just make them dance.

Blanched Cabbage with Butter and Caraway Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

Ingredients

  • One 2-pound head of green cabbage
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Method

1 Heat a large (8-quart) pot of well salted water to a boil.

2 While the water is heating, prepare the cabbage. Peel away and discard and discolored or old outer leaves. Cut the head of cabbage into quarters, through the core, and cut away and discard the core. Use your hands to tear the cabbage into large (about 1 to 2 inch) pieces. (Or use a knife.)

3 Once the water is at a rolling boil, add the torn cabbage leaves to the water. Submerge the leaves in the hot water. Cook for 90 seconds, then drain the pot of its water. Return the cabbage leaves to the pot.

4 Stir 4 tablespoons of butter into the cabbage. The cabbage and the pan are both hot, so the butter should melt quickly in the pan. If you are using unsalted butter, you will want to add more salt to the cabbage. Start with half a teaspoon and add more if needed. Sprinkle with caraway seeds, celery seeds, and black pepper, and toss to combine.

Serve immediately. Great with pork, veal, or frankfurters.

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Links:

Blanched cabbage with caper and garlic from Tobias Cooks

cabbage-butter-carraway-b.jpg

39 Comments

  1. Amanda

    That actually sounds delicious and I have a head of cabbage waiting to be cooked in my refrigerator.

  2. Anna @ the shady pine

    Caraway is something I’ve not used alot of in my cooking…no particular reason other than maybe I didn’t know when to use it. This looks delicious and I am keen to try it with the caraway which I think sounds like a lovely side dish.

  3. T. Hannibal Gay

    Just for your information folks, celery seed is not from the celery plant. There is a real celery seed to grow celery, but what cooks call celery seed is from another plant. The seed tastes like celery, hence the name.

    I almost made the mistake of buying actual seed to grow celery since the cost of it was very low. One bite and I began spitting it out. Not good eats. Please don’t make my mistake.

  4. kale @ tastes good to me!

    I just love how simple and straight-forward this recipe is! Way to take a side and make it a main!

  5. Kit

    Does this fare well as leftovers? I’d like to make a big batch so I could have it for lunches the rest of the week (either hot or cold) … but since the recipe says to serve immediately, I wonder if it wouldn’t be as good the next day.

    We ate up this batch pretty quickly, but I do think that it would make fine leftovers. ~Elise

  6. Tempy

    I love cabbage. It is my favorite dish during the new year’s meal, if nothing else. Do not purchase it often, because I cannot fathom when to stop preparing it. But . . . I am trying that one!

  7. Yoko

    love cabbage – nature’s stomach medicine :) my favorite cabbage dish is to saute with some oil, salt & pepper, and when its 80% done add a small knob of butter and a splash of soy sauce.

  8. Val from PA

    There’s just something comforting about cabbage sauteed in butter. I usually just saute it in a large skillet with some butter, onions, salt and pepper, and sometimes caraway. Will have to try both the caraway and celery seed next time!

  9. Shawna @ CheekyChic

    I LOVE cabbage. This seems like the easiest way to use up leftover cabbage! Thanks.

  10. Leslie

    Elise, if you haven’t, you should also try roasting cabbage! It’s my favorite way to eat it. Whenever I’m making a soup with cabbage in it, I like to shred the cabbage, toss it in a bit of olive oil and salt and roast at 400 degrees til there are some brown crunchy bits. There are also several recipes online for whole (well, quartered or eighthed) roasted cabbage. Yummm.

  11. Cathy

    My mother is French Canadain & 81. She & her mother steamed the quatered head of cabbage, then put into warm buttered milk. Delish! Served with caraway & celery seeds sounds even better! Will definately try that twist, we love cabbage.

  12. BatterLicker

    Ditto to Leslie’s recommendation re: roasting cabbage. I just started using this method a couple months ago and have been roasting cabbage wedges about once weekly since then. So delicious and love the brown crunchy edges of the cabbage leaves!

  13. Gary J Moss

    Please tag this and things like it low-carb. It’s very helpful to those of us who follow a low-carb / paleo way of eating. I know you have already tagged many dishes low-carb, and delicious dishes like these belong among them.

    Thanks for your website and all its recipes. It’s my favorite go-to for everyday cooking and more.

    Will do. BTW, if you come across other recipes on the site that you think qualify as low carb, but I have not yet categorized them as such, please let me know. ~Elise

  14. Amy

    For another twist on the butter theme, try butter and poppyseeds. I also like to slice the cabbage into ribbons for faster cooking in a deep frying pan with a small amount of water to steam, covered.

  15. Ricardo

    This looks like a great simple recipe!
    I found a very simmilar recipe in The Great American Camping Cookbook by Scott Cookman, but the author uses salt, pepper, thyme, butter and a little lemon juice. I have caraway seeds in my carrussel spice rack, but had never found a recipe that asked for it, I don´t even know how they taste. I am going to try this right away!

  16. Adrianne

    I love cabbage with butter! I tend to chop it up and throw it in my wok with a few TBSP of butter, cover and leave it for 20-30min. The caramely bits at the bottom are the absolute best! And it doesn’t need water because the cabbage has so much already. One of my favorite go-to side dishes nowadays! I’ll have to try with caraway sometime.

  17. Becki's Whole Life

    This is how my dad always made cabbage and I love it – such yummy flavor. The caraway seeds are such a great match for the cabbage.

  18. Heather A

    This dish has so many things to recommend it! It’s fast, affordable, and as low fat as you want to make it. I don’t tolerate butter well, so I’ve made a version of this with olive oil, and the “green” taste of the olive oil went very well with the cabbage. Have not tried caraway seeds with it yet, but that just gives me an excuse to make this!

  19. Cindy S

    Only 90 seconds? is that long enough?

    Assuming you are blanching the cabbage in a large pot of boiling water, yes. If you use a small pot, with less water, when you add the cabbage it will drastically lower the water temp and take longer to get back to boiling. Another way to time this is, add the cabbage, when the water returns to boiling, count 60 seconds. Another thing to keep in mind is that regular green cabbage is more tender than curly cabbage or red cabbage. If you use a different variety of cabbage, it will take longer. Also if you are using cabbage that is tougher, more mature, it may take longer. But I found that 90 seconds was more than sufficient. ~Elise

  20. Stash

    I had this last night for dinner, although it was cooked slightly differently.

    And when I clicked on one of my favorite blogs in my blogroll, lo and behold, there was a similar recipe in all its shining glory.

    Great minds really do think alike! ;)

  21. Judith

    My mother used to cook cabbage with caraway and a little cream. It was wonderful! We lived in London, where cream tastes totally different than it does in the US because it’s not ultra-pasteurized.

    I often steam cabbage and serve it simply with a little butter. My family loves it.

  22. Summer Frost

    I steam my cabbage with water that includes a tablespoon of whole pickling spice in a tea ball. Prepared pickling spice includes a bay leaf, whole allspice, whole cloves, caraway seeds, and mustard seeds. Drain well and dot with butter, salt and pepper generously. People who tell me they hate cabbage all LOVE my cabbage. Don’t boil it, and don’t overcook it. Cut a whole head in quarters and remove the stem. Enjoy!

    Brilliant idea, thank you Summer! ~Elise

  23. Culinary Cache

    I absolutely love cabbage, and the addition of caraway is wonderful in this recipe. I will have to remember to add some next time I make some!

  24. Kate

    I love eating cabbage raw as a snack or in salads. I thought it was strange until I discovered all of you fellow cabbage lovers!

  25. michelle

    I will admit, I’ve never eaten cabbage. I had cole slaw as a child once and did not like it. Then I was told that cabbage caused a lot of people to suffer gastrointestinal issues. But the picture with this receipe looks good!

    Can anyone tell me what the issues are for those who have any from eating cabbage? I read one place that cooking it gives people gas, and another said eating it raw was problematic. Since the author of this blog clearly likes it and references eating it several times a week, it makes me want to clear up what must be some misunderstanding on my part. Thanks in advance!

    Michelle

  26. Ryan

    Perfect timing on this post, as I slow cooked my home-cured corned beef today along with turnips, rutabagas, parsnips, carrots, potatoes and onions. I decided to prepare the cabbage according to this recipe instead of boiling like normal, and now I dont think I’ll ever go back!

  27. Coastal

    Toss this in a fry pan after blanching with butter and cooked noodles…’Halushski’…wonderful side dish :-))

  28. Apryl

    Has anyone tried Fried Cabbage? Oh my word it is really tasty. You fry the chopped cabbage in some oil, butter, salt and butter. It will take some time for the cabbage wilts and gets soft. You want the edges to get sort of burnt. I like to add crushed red pepper, garlic and chopped onion. Awesome with pork. ENJOY!

  29. David Flores

    gonna try this in a small covered pot substituting chicken broth for water…mmmmm :)

  30. Loy

    Looks wonderful. Some of the ideas in the comments sound great, too. Hubby won’t eat cooked cabbage, but I think I will fix this just for me. I am including it in my Friday Finds this week. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Franj

    Try adding a tablespoon of flour sprinkled over the cooked buttered cabbage and the stir in about 3/4 to 1 cup milk..Cook on low and stir, and you get creamed cabbage! Just very light! and so delicious.

  32. Catherine

    I too love cabbage. This recipe looks like it would give a similar result to how I do mine. This is my recipe. Chop roughly, put in colander and wash. Shake the colander. You should still have water clinging to the cabbage. Put cabbage into a high sided pan, not frypan, add some butter, salt and pepper and put a lid on the saucepan. Cook over a low heat and shake pan every now and then. Even people who don’t normally like cabbage love it this way. Don’t overcook. Should only take a few minutes this way.
    I love the idea of all the added spices some people have mentioned.

    I made cabbage, onion, potato and carrot soup the other day and added some caraway seed. Served with a grated cheese topping.

  33. L.D.

    This recipe sounds great, I have a half a head leftover from some soup I made. Another use for cabbage is to brown some hamburger or ground turkey with some onion and garlic and a lot of black ground pepper. When the meat is done add shredded cabbage and cook down until wilted. Next I take a box of pizza dough and prepare it as directed and divide it into two sections and roll it out and add the meat and cabbage to the center and fold and pinch the edges and make it a calzone, then I put it in my infrared oven and bake it till golden brown. This is my version of a Runza Calzone, some may recognize this if you are from Nebraska. We are the Runza capital of the US. Just Google Runza Recipe to get the original sandwich. L.D.

  34. pamela miller

    In steaming any veggie, I always save the liquid in jars for soup stock and everyone loves my soup.

    One can add a bit of sour cream or sprinkle a favorite cheese over it which makes a wonderful one dish meal.

  35. Cait Johnson

    By the way, add just a little cream to it and you will be in heaven!
    I have a recipe that calls for hamburger, tomatoes, cheese and cabbage that we just love. From the Mary Hart’s Star and Tribune cookbook. 1979 I believe.

  36. Mary Ann Ressin

    I made this last night. So delicious! I’d never used caraway seeds before. What a great compliment to the cabbage.

  37. Ishan

    That’s really a fantastic dish like Thai Cabbage slaw.

  38. Dolores Kolenda

    Is salt really necessary? Am on a salt restricted diet and would love to make this, but hesitate because of the salt.

    • Elise

      You can try boiling the cabbage in plain water, and then at the end of the recipe just sprinkling on as much salt as is allowed for your diet. I think salt is important, but if you must restrict your salt intake, then do so you must.

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