Colcannon is an excellent recipe for using up leftover mashed potatoes. Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver

Cabbage is a dense, leafy cole crop that grows easily in Maine and stores well through the long winters. Even if you do not grow cabbage, it is inexpensive to buy a big head of green or purple cabbage at the grocery store to enjoy its many nutritional benefits and hearty crunch.

In American diets, cabbage has been pigeonholed as the primary ingredient in mayonnaise-laden coleslaw — but cabbage is so much more than that. Here are 7 recipes that use cabbage that will make the most of this delicious crop.

Cabbage fritters

These cabbage fritters make an excellent supper. Credit: Courtesy of Martine Rose

Move over potatoes, there’s a new shredded fritter in town. These tasty fried treats could be eaten for lunch or for supper or an ample side dish. Serve it with a salad on the side, or add grilled sausage, ham or sprinkles of bacon for added deliciousness. Try  this recipe for cabbage fritters next time you’re looking for a crispy treat for dinner, and save the leftovers for breakfast.

Sweet and sour cabbage and apples

The sweet and sour sauce is key to bringing the flavors of apple and crisp cabbage together in this recipe for sweet and sour cabbage and apples.

Colcannon

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that’s easy to make at home. Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver

Colcannon is a classic Irish dish of sauteed cabbage cooked up in bacon fat with onions or leeks and mashed together with boiled potatoes. You can serve the dish with a little fried sausage or pickles on the side and topped with tasty cheese. Try this recipe for colcannon for a family of four, or this recipe for colcannon for two.

Roasted cabbage with smoked salmon

Roasted lemony cabbage with smoked salmon. Credit: Sarah Walker Caron / BDN

This recipe for roasted cabbage with smoked salmon truly highlights cabbage, featuring the heads cut into wedges and brushed with a pleasant citrus-y tartness that is divinely delicious when paired with salty smoked salmon.

Sauteed cabbage with capers and black olives

Sauteed cabbage with capers and black olives. Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver

This recipe for sauteed cabbage with capers and black olives is perfectly balanced with a sour zip of vinegar, a sweet dash of sugar and the salty savoriness of the olives and capers. You can adjust the recipe to your liking, using red cabbage instead of green, adding more olives and capers or adjusting the amount of sugar and vinegar.

Winter coleslaw with sausage

Warm cabbage with bacon combine with juicy sausages in this easy winter meal. Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver

OK, I said no coleslaw, but this warm winter coleslaw with sausage is much different than the creamy slaw that you are probably familiar with. Drizzle vinaigrette on a pile of shredded cabbage sauteed with bacon fat and onions, top it with grilled sausage and suddenly you have a perfect supper for cold nights.  

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut, or zingy fermented cabbage, is a great starting point for folks taking their first stab at fermentation. Here are the basics of making your own sauerkraut at home.

Crispy fresh cabbage can be used for so much more than just coleslaw. Add these recipes to your rotation to make the most of this cheap, hearty vegetable.