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Most cabbage varieties are suitable for brief boiling or 'blanching'. Blanching preserves the colour of the leaves while achieving a tender crunch.
Peel the leaves from the cabbage. Leave whole or thinly shred if preferred
Heat a pan of salted water and bring to the boil
Add the cabbage leaves in batches and cook for 2–3 minutes until the leaves have softened slightly, but are still vibrant in colour
Remove the cabbage and refresh in iced water to stop the cooking process
Drain in a colander
Blanched cabbage leaves are useful for rolling and encasing foods – like Graham Campbell’s Vegetarian haggis – as the partial cooking of the leaves helps to make them more flexible.
Blanched, shredded cabbage is often tossed with butter, thyme or quickly pan-fried with some crispy pancetta. It is often served alongside braised and roasted meats such as oxtail, partridge or pork belly.
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