Sunday, October 4, 2015

Cabbage 2 ways - roasted and grilled

Poor cabbage. Roasted and fried Brussels sprouts seem to be all the rage these days, but cabbage will always be its dopey, un-cool older cousin.

I've done what I can to change your views on cabbage in the past (case in point: Thai chicken salad, fish tacos, summertime coleslaw, and this incredible soup), but I'm hoping today will put you all over the edge.

The secret tip to transform your plain old cabbage head into something so tender, so mild and sweet, and so delicious that you'll be shouting its accolades from the rooftop: DRY HEAT. You could somewhat compare it to the difference between steamed and roasted Brussels sprouts. You know how roasting Brussels sprouts brings out this incredible, deep, earthy sweet flavor from the vegetable?!? That's exactly the same thing that happens to cabbage when you expose it to dry heat.

Below I'll share two recipes with you that you've probably never even heard of: the first is oven-roasted cabbage "steaks" and the second is grilled cabbage wedge "salad."

Roasted cabbage steak
So what exactly is cabbage steak? Well, apparently you just cut cabbage in thick rounds and roast it. And then you call it a cabbage steak.

It sounds totally dumb and not at all impressive, but it's incredible. Like I can't even describe how good it is, and how it is completely transformed from any cabbage that you've had before. And as an added bonus the outer leaves get all crispy and sweet. So it's like roasted and fried all at the same time!

Grilled cabbage wedge salad
For this recipe, you simply grill your cabbage until the edges are nice and crispy, and then top it with a simple Asian-inspired salad dressing. It's like a wedge salad. But instead of iceberg lettuce its cabbage, and instead of blue cheese dressing its a lime+fish sauce dressing, and instead of bacon it's sliced green onions. So yea, it's nothing like a wedge salad...except it's shaped like a wedge. :)

And while of course you could simply grill this cabbage and serve it as is, the dressing really took it to another level. You could even go crazy and use this dressing on the oven-roasted cabbage steaks recipe!

So yea, what else can I say except........ CABBAGE!!!!

Yours in hopefully convincing you that you need more cabbage in your life,

Cabbage steaks (aka roasted cabbage slices), from Martha Stewart

1 TBSP plus 2 more TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium head green cabbage, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tsp caraway or fennel seeds, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. 
  2. Place cabbage rounds in a single layer on sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons oil. 
  3. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon caraway or fennel seeds, if using.
  4. Roast until cabbage is tender and edges are golden, 40 to 45 minutes. 
Cabbage wedge salad, adapted from The Kitchn
So I was missing a bunch of the dressing ingredients, but I winged it and used random substitutes and it totally worked! I'll provide the original recipe below, and make notes on what I did differently in case you end up having similar issues.


1/4 cup lime juice (I used 2 TBSP of that fake lime juice [don't judge] and 2 TBSP red-wine vinegar)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, minced (I didn't have any, but next time I'm totally adding this!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (Didn't add it to my dressing, but if using add it a bit at a time, to taste)
1/4 teaspoon sugar

1 head green cabbage, tough outer leaves removed
Canola or grapeseed oil

Green onions, sliced (Since I didn't use cilantro I added green onions instead--best decision ever. Totally made the dressing.)
Lime wedges

  1. Heat a gas or charcoal grill. 
  2. Combine all dressing ingredients into a jar and shake to combine (alternatively, put them all in a small chopper and whiz until combined). 
  3. Cut the cabbage into 8 evenly sized wedges. Do not remove the stalk or inner core or else it will completely fall apart on the grill! Lightly brush the wedges with oil. Place the wedges on the grill and cover. 
  4. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the edges of each layer are blackened and the cabbage is beginning to soften. Flip each wedge over, cover the grill, and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes on the other side. 
  5. Remove the cabbage when it is beginning to wilt, but is still firm in the middle. (This will also be somewhat a matter of taste; cool longer over indirect heat if you prefer your cabbage more well done) But don't be afraid of those blackened edges; you want a lot of grill and char marks on the cabbage to give it smoky flavor. 
  6. Take the cabbage off the grill and arrange the wedges on a plate. Pour the dressing over top, sprinkle with green onions, and serve immediately, with wedges of lime to garnish.


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