Our friends at ECO (Eastern Carolina Organics) do a great job of getting local produce into local markets and restaurants.  As is the nature of their business, they sometimes end up with seconds.  When that happens, they generally alert the people who work nearby at Piedmont Eco Industrial park.

A few weeks ago, it was cabbage.  ECO sent an email offering 1.8 bushel boxes for $15 in order to cut the loss to the farmer.  Bob bought a box and we began working our way through forty pounds of cabbage.

The first thing Bob did was give away five heads.  That night I fixed one of our favorite cabbage meals: “Repollo Orientale” which is Spanish for Oriental Cabbage.

Repollo Orientale was the brainchild of the Nicaraguan cook at a lodge on Little Corn Island who often served it to the help for lunch back when we were on staff.  It’s an easy, tasty dish made of sautéed cabbage, garlic and onions seasoned with shoyu, ginger, cayenne and sesame oil and served over fettuccini.

The next day sixteen juicy Cabbage Burgers went on the potluck table with a marinara sauce for dipping.  They went over well and we sent four more heads of cabbage home with friends.

To make the Cabbage Burgers, I started with a spicy, foccacia dough which I rolled out and stuffed with a filling of fried Gimme Lean sausage, cabbage, onions and garlic.  Click on “Continue Reading A CASE OF CABBAGE” below for the recipe.  The nice thing about these is they store well and can be eaten later.

That weekend, we processed more of our windfall into sauerkraut using Sandor Katz’s recipe.  This is our first attempt at kraut and we’re excited because we love sauerkraut with mashed potatoes and Tofurky Kielbasa or Beer Brats.  Every week that kraut gets tastier and we’ve already used some of it in a Borscht I made using local beets and dill.

We also love cole slaw, so I shredded six heads and mixed them with mayonnaise, sugar, salt, pepper and vinegar.  I added some shredded carrots from our garden for color.  That first week after we got our case of cabbage, no one left our house without cole slaw or some other form of cabbage.

By far, the best thing we did with our cabbage windfall was have an Okonomiyaki party with our friends Jason and Haruka of Edible Earthscapes.  Okonomiyaki, or Japanese Pizza is not difficult to make if you have a griddle and a mix for the batter.  But you can also mix up your own batter and fry them in a cast iron pan.  Here’s a link to a blog dedicated to Okonomiyaki with batter recipes and videos:

As unlikely as it sounds, cabbage pizza is indescribably delicious!

One and a half heads to go and we’re unable to decide whether to put it into Okonomiyaki, kraut, slaw, Oriental, Borscht or cabbage burgers.  I suspect we’re putting off the decision because we don’t want this wild cabbage ride to end.  Maybe we’ll get lucky and happen into another case of cabbage from Eastern Carolina Organics.

Cabbage Burgers – Vegan Version

Foccacia Dough:
3-4 cups Flour (about 600 grams)
1 ½  Teaspoons Sugar
1 ½ Teaspoons Salt
1  ½ Tablespoons Active Yeast
1  ½ Teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1  ½ Teaspoons Thyme, ground or fresh
1  ½ Teaspoons Oregano, ground or fresh
1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 ½  Cups Warm Water

Cabbage Filling:
1 lb Gimme Lean (sausage style)
2 Tablespoons Oil – olive, peanut, etc.
1 large onion, thinly sliced into inch long pieces
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ small heads cabbage, shredded (not grated)
Water or Extra Dry Sherry
Salt, Black Pepper, A-1 sauce – to taste

  • Mix up your dough and set aside to rise for 20-25 minutes
  • Fry the sausage in oil, remove from pan and set aside
  • Fry the onion and garlic in oil
  • Add the cabbage and continue to fry
  • If the vegetables begin to stick before the cabbage is soft, you can add a little water or extra dry Sherry, cover and turn the heat down to braise
  • Add about 2 tablespoons of A-1 Sauce
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Turn off heat, mix the sausage back in and set aside
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Lay parchment paper on or lightly oil a large cookie sheet or two 9 x 13 pans
  • Punch down the dough and cut into 16 equal pieces
  • Roll each piece out into a round or square shape about ¼ inch thick
  • Place about 3 Tablespoons of the Cabbage Filling in the middle of the dough
  • Bring two sides up and pinch shut
  • Repeat with the other two sides
  • Place the ‘burger’ seam-side down in the pans or on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart
  • Let rise about 10 minutes after the last ‘burger’ has been rolled, stuffed and placed
  • Bake 20 -25 minutes until barely browned on top but fairly browned on the bottom.
  • Serve with barbecue or marinara sauce for dipping

Asian Style Cabbage Burgers– we think these would be great made with Gimme Lean ground beef style, ginger, garlic and sherry and served with sweet and sour or peanut sauce.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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