All green vegetables should be thrown into abundance of fast-boiling water ready salted and skimmed, with the addition of the morsel of soda which we have recommended, in a previous page of this chapter; the pan should be left uncovered, and every precaution taken to prevent the smoke from reaching its contents. Endive, sprouts, and spring greens, will only require copious washing before they are boiled; but savoys, large lettuces, and close-leaved cabbages should be thrown into salt and water for half an hour or more before they are dressed, with the tops downwards to draw out the insects. The stems of these last should be cut off, the decayed leaves stripped away, and the vegetable halved or quartered, or split deeply across the stalk-end, and divided entirely before it is dished.
Very young greens, 15 to 20 minutes; lettuces, 20 to 30 minutes; large savoys, or cabbages, 1 to 1 1/2 hour, or more.
when the stalk of any kind of cabbage is tender, it is done. Turnip-greens should be well washed in several waters, and boiled in a very large quantity to deprive them of their bitterness.
Cut out the stalk entirely, and slice a fine firm cabbage or two in very thin strips; throw them after they have been well washed and drained, into a large pan of boiling water ready salted and skimmed, and when they are tender, which will be in from ten to fifteen minutes, pour them into a sieve or strainer, press the water thoroughly from them, and chop them slightly. Put into a very clean saucepan about a couple of ounces of butter, and when it is dissolved add the cabbage, with sufficient pepper and salt to season it, and stir it over a clear fire until it appears tolerably dry; then shake lightly in a tablespoonful of flour, turn the whole well, and add by slow degrees a cup of thick cream: veal gravy or good white sauce may be substituted for this, when preferred to it.
Strip the outer leaves from a fine and fresh red cabbage; wash it well, and cut it into the thinnest possible slices, beginning at the top; put it into a thick saucepan in which two or three ounces of good butter have been just dissolved; add some pepper and salt, and stew it very slowly indeed for three or four hours in its own juice, keeping it often stirred, and well pressed down. When it is perfectly tender add a tablespoonful of vinegar; mix the whole up thoroughly, heap the cabbage in a hot dish, and serve broiled sausages round it; or omit these last, and substitute lemon-juice, cayenne pepper, and a half-cupful of good gravy.
The stalk of the cabbage should be split in quarters and taken entirely out in the first instance.
3 to 4 hours.