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

  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. 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!

  5. 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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