Well, it really isn’t a legend, but it is a cute family story. When my mom was pregnant with me, she craved savoy cabbage, cooked in garlic and oil and grated parmesan cheese (only an Italian pregnant woman could crave such a thing, but none the less it was so). Her mom would cook pots of it for her so she could indulge her in this craving. As a young child, I loved savoy cabbage cooked in this manner. It’s really not a vegetable that most children would like, but to me it was as good as ice cream! Then when I was pregnant with my daughter, I craved this and ate it by the bowlfuls. My mom would make me pots of it during these nine months, and I eventually learned to how make it myself. As a young child, my daughter loved savoy cabbage, and guess what she craved when she was pregnant? Yes, I brought pots of this to her since I knew the desperate need to consume this when pregnant! Coincidence? Perhaps. But I do love stories like this. Anyway, we think the cycle is broken. My daughter had a son and he doesn’t like any vegetable, let alone savoy cabbage. But he’s only 7 years old and may still develop a taste for it. I’m hoping.
So pregnant or not, I think you will enjoy this delicious and easy way to prepare savoy cabbage. There is a sweetness to savoy cabbage that regular cabbage does not have. Even though I eat it by the bowlfuls, I recommend that you try it as a side dish first.
1 large head of savoy cabbage
3 cloves garlic, sliced thickly
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons of salt (may need more)
2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (plus extra for serving)
1. Shred the savoy cabbage roughly into thin strips. Wash.
2. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Saute the garlic in the oil until very lightly browned, being careful not to burn.
3. Turn off the heat and let the oil cool for a minute before adding the washed cabbage and the boiling water.
4. Stir in the salt. Cover and bring to a boil.
5. Lower the heat a bit to a rapid simmer and cook for approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the water to slowly evaporate, but not fully. You want the cabbage to remain moist. Add more boiling water if necessary.
6. When tender (about 45 minutes, but make sure it is tender), add 1/4 cup of grated cheese. Stir and cover again for 5 minutes. Add another 1/4 cup cheese and cover for another 5 minutes. Uncover and cook for another minute or two. Taste for seasonings.
7. Sprinkle a little more cheese onto the cabbage before serving.