Fried Cabbage Patties

A few years ago, my library system offered a cooking class as part of its adult programming series.  The class changed names a number of times, and the one that I remember best was titled “The Cooking Divas Presents…” The library director, the adult programming coordinator, and I were the Cooking Divas – we even had aprons embroidered with our names!  We held the classes monthly, and each month had a theme.  If you have ever attended a program at your local library, you’ve probably noticed that everything is “themed.”  Librarians love themes.  Anyway, my fried cabbage patties were from our Comfort Foods class.  We each made a few of our favorite comfort foods.  In addition to this recipe, I also made potato soup, my paternal grandmother’s meatloaf, braised fava beans, and green bean casserole.  Did I mention these classes tended to run rather late?  We actually cooked the food in front of the audience, complete with this huge professional prep table, mirror included, and a portable, 4-burner cooktop.  It was a sight to behold, let me tell you.  And, because I was certain that we’d never be able to complete all of the recipes in time to share with the audience, we actually cooked twice, the first time during the day, and the 2nd time in front of the audience.  I’ll have to look back at my files for some of the recipes; we covered everything from Indian curries to Louisiana oyster shooters.  It was a successful program; we no longer offer the program, however, as our director retired, the programming coordinator and I both transferred into different positions, and I also moved into a different building.  I know you’re probably thinking, ok, nice story, but reminiscing time is over, Louanne, get on with it.  So, onward…
Sicilians love to fry vegetables – cabbage, broccoli, sparaceddi (a type of Sicilian broccoli very similar to broccoli rabe), cauliflower, green beans, artichokes, you name it, we’ll figure out how to fry it.  The application tends to be the same: boil vegetable, drain, cool, mix with seasoned breadcrumbs, cheese, egg, garlic and fry in olive oil.  Fried sparaceddi is my favorite, but it’s impossible to find sparaceddi anymore; my grandmother grew it in her garden, but no one saved the seeds after she passed away, so unless somebody out there has some sparaceddi seeds they’d like to send me, I think it’s gone for good.  Broccoli rabe is as close as I’ve found.  And, that’s actually what I wanted to make and share with you, but the broccoli rabe I found was in a pitiful state.  Cabbage was abundant, as St. Patrick’s day was last week, and so, here we are with fried cabbage.  The cabbage patties are delicious, and more people prefer it to the broccoli rabe, so if you make it, you won’t be disappointed.
We also make these for Thanksgiving and eat them as appetizers while we’re waiting for the rest of the meal.  They are just as delicious room temperature as they are hot.  Enjoy!

1 large cabbage, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Plain breadcrumbs
Olive and vegetable oil for shallow frying
Boil cabbage in salted water until tender; drain, and cool. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or preferably, overnight.

On a large piece of parchment or wax paper, sprinkle out a bed of plain breadcrumbs.

Using an ice cream scoop, portion out the cabbage mixtured and place on the plain breadcrumbs.
Gently form into patties.  Turn patty over, coating entirely with the plain breadcrumbs.  Repeat until all patties are formed.
In a large skillet, heat both oils over medium-high heat – oil should shimmer.  Gently add patties to oil, and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side.
Do not crowd pan.  Drain on paper towels.  Add more oil as necessary to fry remaining patties.
Delicious hot, room temperature, or cold.

One thought on “Fried Cabbage Patties

  1. This is Melissa, friend of Louanne and the mysterious Adult Programming person she has mentioned in her spectacular account of how the cabbage patty came into being as a program show stopper.

    Louanne brought over samples of this recipe the other day and I took a few home to share with my guys. My 19 year old son, who has never enjoyed cabbage in any form, and who considers it the cruelest treatment when I make it for dinner, loved these little fried golden nuggets of goodness. He asked me to get her recipe.

    These babies are fantastic.
    Good recipe Lou!!!

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