It still confounds me what pops up on the internet when I least expect it. I’m talking recipes of course. With all of the cooking I’ve done for almost 40 years (yikes!) I just love it when something unique shows itself.
Case in point, a Bon Appetit recipe called Fall-Apart Caramelized Cabbage. It wasn’t the name that caught my attention, but the photo of charred and braised cabbage in a red sauce. I just had to make it.
Mine isn’t as beautifully styled, but it is still a beautiful dish, and most importantly, delicious.
Cabbage Braised in Red Sauce
Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit
1/4 cup double-concentrated tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne chile pepper flakes
1 medium head of green cabbage (or savoy), about 2 pounds total
1/2 cup extra-virgin oil, divided
1 cup broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix tomato paste, garlic, coriander, cumin, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
I like to use tomato paste in a tube.
Cut cabbage in half through core. Cut each half through core into 4 wedges.
Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, add cabbage to pan, cut side down, and season with salt.
Cook, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer cabbage to a plate.
Pour remaining 1/4 cup of oil into skillet. Add spiced tomato paste and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until tomato paste begins to split and slightly darken, about 2-3 minutes.
Pour in enough water to come halfway up sides of pan, season with salt, and bring to a simmer. I used vegetable broth mixed with tomato sauce for extra flavor. The original recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of water.
Nestle cabbage wedges back into skillet (they should have shrunk while browning; a bit of overlap is okay). I placed the wedges of charred cabbage in a baking dish instead of using the skillet.
Transfer cabbage to oven and bake, uncovered, turning wedges halfway through, until very tender and liquid has mostly evaporated, about 40-50 minutes. Cabbage should be caramelized around the edges.
Scatter chopped parsley over the cabbage.
Serve with creme fraiche.
Today I wanted lamb so that’s what I made for the protein! But the cabbage would be prettier with grilled chicken or sausages.
I think the red sauce would also be good with some oregano and a pinch of cinnamon, instead of the coriander and cumin. But leave in the cayenne!
Honestly, if the red sauce was more Italian-inspired, I could definitely see some grated Parmesan sprinkled over the top!