Cabbage. It always seems to be maligned or denigrated as just peasant food. Many people have trouble figuring out what to do with cabbage. It just sits there in the refrigerator until you get tired of it and make coleslaw. Or, perhaps, you pass it by completely at the farmers’ market or grocery. Fortunately, we scratchers know that lowly peasant food is often the best tasting — when you know how to prepare it.
For some foods, simple really is best. So, let’s let the cabbage do the talking, and make something almost as simple as possible. It’ll take about 5 minutes of prep, and 30 minutes in the oven; then you can decide if Roasted Cabbage will change your mind about having cabbage as a side dish.
And, we didn’t think this up on our own; instead, we found the idea on The Kitchn, and changed it ever so slightly.
Well, what can you say about those ingredients? Not much, except we use kosher salt for the larger crunchier grains. The oil doesn’t have to be extra-virgin olive oil since it’ll lose its flavor while baking; any oil will work. Our olive oil is in bottles with pour spouts on top, making it easy to drizzle, so we choose that.
Procedure in detail:
Preheat oven to 450°F. When you roast the cabbage, you want some of those leaves to char, so you want high heat.
Prepare. If you have a roasting pan with a rack, use it. It’ll keep the cabbage from braising in its juices, making it slightly crispier. And crispier is better. Place the wedges on the rack, leaving space between them so the hot air can circulate around the cabbage. Drizzle with oil, enough to coat in spots, but not so much that it runs through. Sprinkle with coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a few caraway seeds.
Roast. Bake, uncovered, in the oven for 15 minutes. By this time, the tops of the leaves should be getting crispy and brown.
Flip. Flip over each wedge of cabbage, then repeat the drizzling, salting, peppering, and carawaying on the other side, so it, too, can get crispy.
Roast. Back into the oven for another 15 minutes or so. If the cabbage isn’t as crispy as you’d like, leave it in for 5 to 10 minutes more, or until it is.
Serve. Cabbage cools rapidly, so don’t spend too much time getting it from roasting pan to plates.
Easy, easy, easy, but how does it taste? Well, this is one of the best ways to have cabbage, without a doubt. Some of the leaves get crispy and salty, much like baked kale, and the thicker inside leaves take on a nice sweet flavor as the cabbage roasts. This is a five-star side. Oh, and, if you’re adventurous, consider grilling the cabbage wedges over a hot fire instead of roasting. We bet that would be even better.