Vegetables
Ostaria Istriana

Fresh and Pickled Cabbage

Although there are many different types of fresh edible cabbages, most Istrian recipes specify Savoy cabbage which has a unique taste and look (pictured, below), so it cannot be substituted by another type of cabbage in the specified recipe.

Pickled cabbage - also known as sauerkraut, crauti (Italiano), capuzi garbi (Istroveneto), and kiseli kupus (Hrvatski) - is a finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria, including Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. It has a long shelf-life and a distinctive sour flavor, both of which result from the lactic acid that forms when the bacteria ferment the sugars in the cabbage. It is therefore not to be confused with coleslaw, which receives its acidic taste from vinegar.

Fermentation of cabbages in salt and acidic liquids dates back to prehistoric times and probably was described first by Pliny the Elder during the first century A.D. Modern preparation techniques are thought to have been developed sometime between 1550 and 1750 A.D.

In his 1772 Treatise on Scurvy, James Lind discussed the ability of German seamen to withstand long sea voyages without succumbing to scurvy compared to seamen from other countries, and pointed to their consumption of fermented cabbage as a defining difference. In 1776, Captain James Cook was awarded the Copley Medal for demonstrating that sauerkraut could be used to allay scurvy in British crews on long sea voyages.

While it is often associated with Germany, sauerkraut is also commonly eaten across Friuli and down into the Balkans where the Austro-Hungarian empire had a strong culinary influence. You can enjoy them as is - for example with a roast or stew - or use them to make jota, the signature soup (minestra) of both Trieste and Istria. Capuzi garbi also go quite well with boiled meats.

Articles:

Fresh cabbages:

Pickled cabbages (sauerkraut):

Home-made pickled cabbage

Ingredients:

  • Savoy cabbage
  • Juniper berries
  • Coriander seeds
  • Coarse sea salt or kosher salt

Thinly slice the cabbage and put the slices in a ceramic jar or barrel, salting the layers and sprinkling them with coriander seeds and juniper berries 9go easy on the latter because they're flavorful0. When all is used up put a wooden disk over them, set a weight on it, and let the cabbage sit for a month, during which time they will ferment.

Source:

  • (Mr. Pradelli) - http://italianfood.about.com/library/rec/blr0986.htm

Classic pickled cabbage

A recipe from Cesare Fonda:

  • 2 1/4 pounds (1 k.) sauerkraut (commercially prepared will do)
  • A heaping tablespoon rendered lard
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion or 2 cloves garlic, minced, or both
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • A splash of white wine (optional)

Rinse the sauerkraut, squeeze out excess moisture, put them in a pot, and add just enough unsalted water to cover, and then simmer them for about 20 minutes. In another pot sauté the onion or garlic and flour in the fat, and when they have colored add the sauerkraut, draining it well. Salt lightly, give a healthy grating of pepper, and simmer for a couple of hours, covered, stirring often and adding water as need be to keep them from drying out. When they're a pretty amber they're ready.

Source:

  • http://italianfood.about.com/library/rec/blr0986.htm

Caputi freschi sofigai

Ingredienti:

  • una testa di cappuccio
  • olio d'oliva
  • mezza cipolla
  • pepe e sale

Il cappuccio, ripulito delle foglie esterne, lavato a dovere e tagliato sottile sottile, viene rosolato nell'olio con cipolla sminuzzata. Si aggiungono il sale ed il pepe, si copre e si lascia cuocere piano piano, mescolando di tanto in tanto, e aggiungendo qualche cucchiaio di brodo o d'acqua.

Source:

  • Giuseppe Radole, Folclore Istriano, MGS Press (Trieste, 1997)

Capuzzi ripieni (Stuffed cabbage)

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads pickled cabbage 
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. smoked ham, chopped
  • 1/4 c. smoked bacon (pancetta), chopped
  • 2 tbsp, flour
  • 1 cup uncooked rice  
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 lb. smoked ham hocks or pork ribs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Fry bacon in its own fat. Add onion and saute five minutes. Remove from heat and drain excess fat. Allow to cool slightly, combine with ground beef, chopped ham, rice, egg, 1 teaspoon paprika, salt and pepper, remove large outer leaves of the cabbage, place filling in each leaf and roll up from center to outer edge. Tuck sides into center to hold roll together. Cut remaining cabbage into strips. Add another half pound of sauerkraut, if desired. Place half the sauerkraut in the bottom of a large pot. Arrange cabbage rolls over sauerkraut. Add smoked ribs or ham hocks. Cover with remaining sauerkraut. 

Heat oil and brown flour in it. Add a teaspoon paprika and water to make a thick roux. Cook for 5 minutes. Pour roux over cabbage rolls. Add water to cover cabbage and simmer over low heat for 1/2 to 2 hours until rice is fully cooked. Do not stir cabbage rolls while cooking. Instead, shake pot occasionally to prevent sticking. Transfer to warm serving dish.

Source:

  • Dalmatia.net - Christmas recipes (no longer online)

Caputi garbi e cren

Ingredienti:

  • un osso di prosciutto o un pezzo di porcina
  • una foglia di alloro
  • sale
  • un pesto di lardo o di pancetta con uon spicchio d'aglio intero
  • cren (rafano)
  • pane grattugioto
  • una mela grattuciata (opzionale)
  • uno cucchiao di zucchero (opzionale)

Bisogna anzitutto lavare bene i cappucci garbi per togliere loro parte dell'acidità. Si mettono quindi in una pentola di terracotta, con un osso di prosciutto o con un pezzo di porcina, una foglia di alloro e sale, coprendo il tutto d'acqua. Si lasciano cuocere a fuoco lento, coperti. A metà cottura si aggiunge il condimento, un bel pesto di lardo o di pancetta con uno spicchio d'aglio intero. È un piatto gustosissimo, adatto a chi ha uno stomaco robusto.

La porcina si mangia accompagnandola col cren (rafano). La radice di questa tuberosa cresce negli orti di casa, lavata e grattugiata in una scodella, si scotta col brodo per toglierle un po' del suo sapore acre (da qui il nome di «pizzica-lingua»). Si aggiunge un po' di pane grattugiato, si mescola e la salsa è pronta. Per accompagnare il lesso e per rendere il cren meno acre ancora, oltre al pane, si può grattugiare una mela, versare un cucchiaio di zucchero ed un po' di aceto.

Source:

  • Giuseppe Radole, Folclore Istriano, MGS Press (Trieste, 1997)

Capuzi garbi with meats

  • 2 1/4 pounds (1 k) sauerkraut
  • A ham bone, fresh or smoked
  • A bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • An onion, minced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon flour
  • Salt and pepper

Rinse the cabbage and put it in a pot with the bone and the bay leaf, adding cold water to cover, and bring the mixture to a simmer. In the meantime, sauté the onion in the oil, and as soon as it wilts stir in the flour; stir the mixture until it browns. Drain the sauerkraut, stir it into the flour and onion mixture, check seasoning, and serve with roasted, boiled or stewed meats.

Source:

  • http://italianfood.about.com/library/rec/nr0986.htm

Verze in tecia

This is a traditional dish that is used in tandem with bacalà (the white versions, not with tomato sauce) and eaten on Christmas Eve, but is also popular year round.

Ingredienti:

  • una verza (Savoy cabbage)
  • olio d'oliva
  • 2 spicchi d'aglio tritati
  • pepe
  • pizzico di sale

Le verze, una volta lessate in abbondante acqua salata, si scolano e si passano in un tegame, dove si sono rosolati in olio d'oliva uno o due spicchi d'aglio tritati. Aggiunto il pepe ed un pizzico di sale, si copre e si lascia cuocere a calore medio, mescolando di tanto in tanto, fino all'evaporazione dell'acqua rimasta, ottenendo così una specie di purè. Le verze così preparate si consumavano durante il cenone della vigilia di Natale. Molti non le gradiscono per il forte odore che emanano. Le massaie cercavano di attenuarlo aggiungendo qualche patata nell'acqua di bollitura.

Source:

  • Giuseppe Radole, Folclore Istriano, MGS Press (Trieste, 1997)

Verze Napofrig - Verza e calamari

Piatto tipico per la vigilia di Natale nell’isola di Lussino.

Ingredienti:

  • 1 lb calamari
  • 2 -3 lbs verza
  • 2-3 patate
  • 1 cipolla media, tagliata a dadi
  • 2 spicchi d’aglio, tritati
  • 5 cucchiai olio di oliva
  • sale e pepe
  • 1/4 di tazza di salsa di pomodoro
  • prezzemolo
  • acqua

Pulire i calamari.  Il corpo si taglia a pezzettini.  I tentacoli anche, ma i due vanno tenuti separati. 

Soffriggere i tentacoli in 3 cucchiai di olio in una grande  pentola finche’ saranno rosolati. Aggiungere  2 bicchieri di acqua, e quando bolle, mettervi dentro la verza, tagliata a listerelle. Salate. Se necessario, mettere di tanto in tanto piu’ acqua.

Dopo 10 minuti,  aggiungere le patate, tagliate a pezzi e continuare a bollire a fuoco lento finche’ saranno cotte.   

Nel frattempo, in una piccola pentola e 2 cucchiai di olio  disfriggere la cipolla e l’aglio. Aggiungere i calamari, salare e pepare.  Mettervi dentro circa ¼ di tazza di salsa di pomodoro, e il prezzemolo.  Poi un po’ d’acqua and lasciare cucinare  piano piano finche’ i calamari risulteranno soffici.

Gettare questo brudetto nella pentola con la verza.  Mischiate il tutto.  Si mangia caldissimo, con pane fresco.

Source:

Savoy Cabbage and Squid (Verze Napofrig)

This dish is for Christmas Eve dinner on the island of Lošinj - Lussino

 Ingredients:

  • 1 lb squid
  • 1 large Savoy cabbage
  • 2-3 potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, about
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • parsley
  • water

 Clean the squid.  Cut the bodies in small pieces.  Also the tentacles, but keep the two separate.

In a large pan, sautè the tentacles in 3 tablespoons oil, until crisp and brown.  Add 1½ cups of water, and when it is boiling, add the cabbage, cut into strips.  Salt.  Lower the heat. If necessary, add a little more water from time to time.

After 10 minutes, add the potatoes, cut in chunks.  Continue cooking on low heat until the potatoes are tender.

Meantime, in a smaller pan and 2 tablespoons of oil, sautè the onion and the garlic.  Add the squid pieces, salt and pepper. After a couple of minutes, add ¼ cup of tomato sauce and parsley. A little water, and let simmer slowly until the squid is tender.

Combine this with the contents of the pan with the cabbage.  Eat very hot, with fresh bread.

Source:

General sources:

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauerkraut

Main Menu


Created: Friday, December 14, 2001; Last Updated: Monday, June 05, 2017
Copyright © 1998 IstriaNet.org, USA