Seared Red Cabbage

Large appetites seldom develop when it’s scorchingly hot outside, like today in San José.  Full scale cooked meals are certainly neither a desire nor an option. Typically, I can only muster the strength to eat a light salad, or some fresh cold fruit. But, one gets bored quickly chewing on leaves all the time.

This super easy recipe, by Martha Rose Shulman from the New York Times, is the perfect compromise. Although the recipe demands you light your stove to make it, it’s hardly fair to call the effort involved cooking. The resulting fare is also appropriately light for hot weather.

I have always personally loved cabbage, and it has forever been one of my favorite snacks. So crunchy, and fresh, with just a touch of that familiar cruciferous vegetable bite. I like it so much, that, as a child I begged my mom for cabbage hearts as a snack. I still can’t believe a lot of people throw this part away! What a mistake. It is the spiciest part of the cabbage, and so very crisp. I couldn’t have been happier than crunching away at those little wedges, and this recipe requires keeping them intact.

Don’t let the simplicity of this dish turn you away. The lightly seared flavor of cabbage really is incredible all on its own. But, this seared cabbage dish isn’t only for dyed-in-the-wool cabbage-fans. I’ve converted attested cabbage loathers by serving them this dish. They never knew their newfound love could spring so deep.

Seared Red Cabbage:

  • 1 head read cabbage
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • chopped garlic and red pepper flakes, herbs of choice (optional)

To begin, slice the head of cabbage into eight even wedges, making sure to leave the heart intact. Without the heart in place, the wedges will fall apart into leaves while you cook them. Though the results might still be delicious, the presentation will certainly fall short of that intended.

The NYT recipe doesn’t call for the following step, and it really is optional, as the flavor is so good plain, but I think it adds a nice bit of zest to the recipe. Dice up a clove of garlic and stir it into a little bowl of olive oil with some red pepper flakes. Brush this on the cabbage wedges.

Heat up a non stick pan to high heat. Add olive oil and bring it to just shy of smoking. Add the cabbage wedges.

Cook the wedges for about 5 minutes on each side, or until the bottoms begin to brown a beautiful golden tone.

Cook until the second side is browned as well. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and serve with something cold to wash it down.  The pinot grigio vivace (slightly bubbly) I served with mine was a great fit.

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One Response to “Seared Red Cabbage”

  1. Martha Says:

    Looks delish.

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