One of Winter’s treats – Parma Ham Parcels Filled With Savoy Cabbage

Savoy Cabbage and Parma Ham

 Savoy cabbage is one of the most beautiful vegetables there is, it is not for nothing it appears in so many photos and on so many book covers. But to reduce it’s beauty to superficial considerations would be to ignore the other dimensions that this cabbage holds within its closely knitted leaves. I am not talking about all the health benefits it has, no I am talking about its flavour. Now there is a problem, a visual problem, and that is that the longer it cooks, the better it tastes but the longer it cooks, the uglier it gets. If you cook shredded savoy cabbage with some sliced leek, carrot and maybe with a little white wine (though that is absolutely not necessary) for about 45-60 minutes on low heat, you end up with a fantastic tasting dish that doesn’t look promising at all. I have had more than one guest who approached the bowl with Savoy cabbage cooked this way with hesitation but after having tasted it, asked for more and more. 

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Which just proves that sometimes beauty hides other dimensions that can be of interest to you, you just need to look beyond appearances be they beautiful or ugly. The same old twaddle that has been mashed into us since we were small but oh so true. Especially when it comes to Savoy cabbage….

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PARMA HAM PARCELS FILLED SAVOY CABBAGE
8-10 parcels

1 small head of Savoy cabbage
1 small leek
1 medium carrot
1/2 glass of water or dry white wine
salt
extra-virgin olive oil
8-10 slices of Parma ham

   Trim and cut the cabbage and leek in thin slices, peel and slice the carrot. Heat up some olive oil in a pan with thick bottom and gently fry leek and carrot for 3-4 minutes.

   Add the cabbage, add a little salt and stir well. After 2-3 minutes, add the water on put the lid on. Keep on cooking on low heat, stirring now and then, for about 35-40 minutes. The cabbage should look greenish brown and be very soft, almost as if it has melted. You can do this the day before if you need it, just keep it cold until you need to use it.

   Take out a non-stick muffin pan, if you don’t have one you can use normal paper muffins cups. Line 8-10 holes (it depends on how big they are) with a slice of Parma ham, spoon some of the cabbage mix into each hole and fold the ham over the filling.

   Bake in a pre-heated oven (225°C/440°F) for 10 minutes and then serve.

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