The savoy cabbage has a yellow-green nearly round head with wrinkled leaves. Savoy cabbage is considered by many to be the best eating cabbage. It has a very delicate texture and a flavor much superior to smooth leaved cabbage.
Savoy cabbage is not easily shipped so it is not as readily available as red or green cabbage. You should find savoy cabbage at the farm market or you can grow it yourself.
Savoy cabbage is also called curly cabbage. Savoy cabbage is named for the region where it is believed to have originated: the Savoy which straddles the Alpine regions of Italy and France.
Because savoy cabbage is so tender, it requires much less cooking than other cabbage varieties.
Season. Cabbage is a cool-season crop. In regions where it gets neither too hot nor too cold, cabbage will keep in the garden for quite some time. If the weather is more extreme, cabbage will store in the refrigerator for about two weeks. The savoy cabbage is best for fresh eating.
Choose. Select cabbage that is heavy for its size and is compact. Savoy cabbage should be crisp with well-colored leaves. Avoid Savoy cabbage that has thin, wilted leaves or a cracked head.
Prepare. Soak cabbage in salt water or vinegar for about 15 minutes before using to free the tightly packed leaves of insects. After soaking, rinse the head thoroughly in cold running water. For the mildest flavor and tenderness, cut out and discard any fibrous thick ribs from the outer leaves.
Store. Cabbage will keep for about 2 weeks in the vegetable drawer or in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. Cut cabbage should be stored away from other foods.
Cook. Cook cabbage until it is just tender-crisp. Cabbage that is cooked tender-crisp will remain sweet. Overcooked cabbage will lose texture and flavor.
Recipe. Slice savoy cabbage into 1/4 inch strips. Heat 2 cloves garlic and a quarter cup extra virgin olive oil in a nonstick pan. When the oil is hot, add the cabbage and a dash of salt. Cook and stir until the cabbage is just tender.
Serve. Savoy cabbage can be eaten raw or cooked and has a flavor affinity for garlic, olive oil, polenta, potatoes, sweet onions, and white beans.
Varieties. Savoy cabbage varieties to look for include ‘Savoy King’, ‘Savoy Ace’, and ‘Quintal D’Alsace’. A savoy with a pointed head is called ‘Spivoy’. It is a great selection for the home garden because it can be closely planted and holds well after maturing so that the harvest can be extended over a longer period.