Cabbage Braised in Red Sauce


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
Kosher salt
1 cup broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Creme fraiche

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!

42 thoughts on “Cabbage Braised in Red Sauce

    • It is so versatile, isn’t it?!! I’ve never seen it charred and braised before. I’m so glad I tried it!

  1. What a beautiful side dish. I love the texture of braised cabbage, and imagine it’s amazing with all of those spices! So delicious. I love what you’ve plated it with and you presentation is lovely. :-) ~Valentina

    • Thank you Valentina! It is really a unique and wonderful recipe. Of course, I could eat anything with red sauce!

  2. Oh yes ! You bring beautiful memories to me with this one; my grandmother used to make “red cabbage” and served it with mashed potatoes for lunch; so tasty, so healthy, so good, so comforting ! Thank you dear Mimi !

  3. Charred cabbage is terrific stuff. As is braised cabbage. Haven’t combined the two methods, though, as this recipe does. Neat!

  4. I love cabbage and this seems like a fresh new accompaniment to corned beef. Thanks Mimi. (And I have no idea why you can’t comment on my blog. Sent the question to my helper and I wlll keep you posted!)

  5. Perfect timing on this one, Mimi…cabbage is silly cheap right now thanks to St. Patrick’s Day sales! I must admit that I’ve never heard of braised cabbage like this. I’m super intrigued!

  6. I saw that photo, too, Mimi! I wondered how it was, really, because you know, some people (at my table) are non-cabbage-eaters. But I’m glad to know its so lovely, and I think I’m going to try it out on my fam!

    • It was really wonderful. I had two girlfriends over and we had it as a side. Of course, one is Hungarian, so I knew she loved cabbage, but the other is picky!

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