Red Conehead Cabbage
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Red Conehead or Kalibos cabbage has deep purple leaves that grow in a rosette creating a conical in shape in the center. The outer leaves are a light to dark green with reddish-purple veins and a maroon hue. Once the outer leaves are removed, the cone head shape is more apparent. Kalibos cabbage is long and somewhat heart-shaped with a wide, round base. It can weigh up to 2 pounds when fully mature, though it’s still considered a “mini” variety. The outer leaves are tender and make good wrappers. The inner leaves are crisp and have a mildly sweet flavor without the typical bitterness of some cabbage varieties.
Kalibos cabbage is available in the fall months, but may also be available in limited quantities in the spring.
Kalibos cabbage is a uniquely-shaped, European variety of Brassica oleracea. It is likely a cross between red cabbage and the green conical cabbage variety. The heirloom variety of cabbage is known for its ornamental value as much as its culinary value, with heads that resemble giant purple roses. Kalibos cabbage is also commonly known as Red Cone cabbage, Red Arrowhead cabbage, or Red Caraflex cabbage.
Kalibos cabbage is rich in vitamin C and contains almost half the daily recommended intake of vitamin K. The red cabbage variety also contains small amounts of vitamin A and is a good source of folate. It also has minerals like potassium, manganese and phosphorus. Most red cabbage varieties are a good source of dietary fiber as well. Kalibos cabbage also contains the phytonutrient anthocyanin, which is responsible for its rich purple hues. Anthocyanin is also a potent antioxidant. Studies have shown that cabbage contains natural chemicals that fight and neutralize carcinogens.
Kalibos cabbage is well-suited for fresh use or a light sauté. The larger outer leaves can be used as wrappers for stuffing with rice, ground meat and herbs. For a simple side dish, after removing the outer leaves, cut a head of Kalibos cabbage in half, top with oil, salt and pepper and roast at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Top the cabbage with shaved parmesan before serving. The mild, crisp cabbage is ideal for shredding or slicing for salads and slaws. Kalibos cabbage stores well, and will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Cabbage has been a staple in European cuisine since ancient times. The Romans used cabbage to detoxify the body, and it was used medicinally to cure “over-consumption”. The ancient Greeks revered the vegetable and considered it to be sacred.
Kalibos cabbage is an heirloom variety of Brassica from what is now Belarus, which lies between Poland and Russia in Eastern Europe. Many seed companies state that this variety is originally from the 1800s, though little information is available to verify the exact date. Kalibos cabbage can be grown for both a spring or fall harvest, but the longer growing period of a fall harvest is generally recommended for this tender variety. Kalibos cabbage is far more common in Europe and not often seen outside of home gardens or small farms in the United Stated. Though, the cone-shaped variety has been making appearances in Community Supported Agriculture shares and at farmers markets in the cooler climate of the Pacific Northwest and in Southern California in the United States.
Recipes that include Red Conehead Cabbage. One is easiest, three is harder.
|La Cuisine de Géraldine||Pointed Red Cabbage and Feta Salad|
|La Cuisine de Géraldine||Stir-Fry Pointed Red Cabbage with Grilled Tofu|
|Whole Nourishment||Massaged Purple Cabbage & Coriander Seed Salad|