A Simple Side: Roasted Cabbage
March 20, 2010 § 1 Comment
Last night I peeled a butternut squash and grabbed an open bottle of white wine out of the fridge shelf. I was prepping all the ingredients to make a hefty pot of butternut squash risotto – a family favorite. Along side, I wanted to serve a vegetable side dish. But my veggie-dish possibilities were a tad limited: For one, committing to risotto chains you to the stove top with constant stirring for at least a half hour. I didn’t want to worry about looking after a second dish on the stove; I wanted a side dish that was hands-off. Second, as I peered into the dregs of the refrigerator bottom drawers, I saw that my choices were meager: a lone red potato, a few shriveled lemons, a giant bag of heirloom broccoli side-shoots, a sack full of teeny apples and one smallish cabbage head. With those scintillating options, cabbage seemed like the best bet.
Generally speaking, the ladies in my family are the cabbage eaters – they’ll eat it stewed, boiled, microwaved or sauteed, so long as it’s covered in butter. The dudes are a little fussier. I knew I wasn’t going to get a lot of male enthusiasm if I dished up a quarter of a cabbage stewed in water and apple cider vinegar.
But there’s nothing like mindless stirring to get the brainwaves humming. My oven was already hot – the butternut squash was sizzling inside – and I had only just started stirring the risotto. I had plenty of time to dabble in a vegetable roasting experiment.
I often find that roasting brings out the intrinsic flavor vegetables, and, as a result, I do very little doctoring. I’d never roasted cabbage before, but I had a hunch that cooking it this way would not only be aesthetically pleasing, but also pack a delicious punch. Forty minutes later, I pulled seven cabbage slices out of the oven and dinner was served. The side-edges were potato-chip-crispy and the inside of each cabbage slice was tender. The caraway seeds added a savory crunch, but if you don’t have any seeds on hand, don’t run out to the market to pick up a jar – truly, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper will do just fine. And what’s more, the dude in the household liked it so well, I don’t think he knew he was eating cabbage!
1 head green cabbage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed*
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
*If on the SCD-diet, omit until 6 months symptom free.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees or 400 if your oven runs hot. Balance the cabbage head on its base and slice into thick, 1/2″ – 3/4″ strips – pick your preferred width and try to be consistent so each slice cooks evenly. Rub the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil and layer slices of cabbage on top. Drizzle (or brush) cabbage slices with another tablespoon of olive oil (or more, if necessary). Sprinkle each piece with sea salt, pepper, caraway seeds and dried thyme. Cook 35-40 minutes until the outside edges are crisp and the inside is tender. Serve hot.
Diet Notes: Gluten-free, nut-free, vegan, SCD-safe (see asterisk)