What to look for:
Buy an unblemished head with a crack-free stem.
Pick tightly packed heads that are heavy for their size.
Touch the outer leaves -- they should feel firm and crisp, and squeak when rubbed.
Store in your refrigerator's crisper drawer, snugly wrapped in plastic, for up to 1 week.
How to use it:
Toss shredded cabbage with a creamy dressing or tart vinaigrette for a crunchy slaw.
Stir-fry torn leaves for an earthy side dish.
Blanch whole leaves to use as wraps for a stuffing of wild rice and seasoned ground meat.
Quick-pickle shredded or chopped leaves in an acid such as vinegar or citrus juice for a crunchy counterpart to meat or fish. (Side note: Acids preserve the vibrant hue of red cabbage.)
Boil in chicken broth with white beans, cubed ham and onions for soup.
Add bite-size pieces of red cabbage to salads for a sharp bite.
Braise for a silken texture.