Roasting sweetens cabbage, taking its flavor to a whole new level
Cabbage doesn’t get the love it deserves. Sure, we like it in coleslaw. And we pair it with corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day. But the rest of the time? Most of us just walk right past it in the supermarket produce section.
Too bad. Because when roasted, cabbage serves up terrific flavor. The taste becomes sweeter and more intense (in a good way). And roasting doesn’t overwhelm your kitchen with the cabbage odor some find offensive (you know, the kind you get when you boil cabbage to death).
Succulent, tender, delightfully flavored. Roast cabbage will be the star of your next meal. Really.
Recipe: Easy and Tasty Roast Cabbage
Some cooks like to cut cabbage into wedges or rounds when they roast it (see Notes for the method). That works well, but we prefer to chop it into rough shreds, then toss it with olive oil and seasonings. It’s easier to eat, and you get a better tasting veggie, in our opinion.
You can use everyday green cabbage in this recipe, or try the less common Savoy variety. Savoy cabbage will be slightly sweeter when roasted, but either kind works well.
This recipe is adapted from Molly Stevens’ All About Roasting. Stevens is a wonderful cook—so if you don’t know her books, do yourself a favor and get acquainted.
Prep time for this recipe is 5 minutes or so. Roasting adds another 25 to 30 minutes.
This dish serves 3 or 4, and it’s easy to double. Leftovers keep OK for a day or two when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- ½ green cabbage head (you want a pound or so of cabbage; either Savoy cabbage or the everyday green kind will work)
- ~2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste (about ¾ teaspoon for us—see Notes)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste (maybe a dozen grinds)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet (preferably one that’s rimmed) with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Remove any blemished outer leaves from the cabbage. Cut the cabbage in half and remove the core from one half (reserve the other cabbage half for another use).
- Cut the cabbage in half again, then cut it into slices of an inch or so. (The aim is to end up with rough shreds of cabbage, which roast well.)
- Place the cabbage shreds in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss the cabbage until it’s well coated, adding more oil if necessary. BTW, it’s easiest to toss the cabbage with your hands (just use disposable kitchen gloves, which are very inexpensive).
- Pour the cabbage shreds onto the prepared baking sheet, then spread them around loosely (it’s OK if some pile up a bit; they will cook down). Place the baking sheet in the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes.
- At the 15-minute mark, toss the cabbage with tongs or a large spoon, then return the baking sheet to the oven. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
- When the timer goes off the second time (after a total of 25 minutes in the oven), some of the cabbage leaves should be slightly charred at the edges, and the cabbage should be done—or close to it. We like roast cabbage to be slightly crunchy, and we usually reach this stage of doneness after 25 minutes. If you want something more meltingly tender, continue to roast the cabbage, checking it every 5 minutes, until you get the result you like.
- You can serve roast cabbage hot from the oven, or let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes. It’s good either way.
- You can roast cabbage (or almost any vegetable) at oven temperatures ranging from 300 to 500 degrees F. For this dish, we prefer 350. If you use a lower temperature, it will take a bit longer to cook (and of course at higher temperatures it’ll take less time).
- For roasting, many cooks like to cut cabbage into either wedges or round “steaks” (with a thickness of about an inch). If this idea appeals, cut the cabbage into your preferred shape, brush olive oil on the cut sides, sprinkle on some salt and pepper, then roast the cabbage at 400 degrees (or whatever temperature you like; but for wedges in particular, we like 400 F).
- Molly Stevens’ recipe is a bit more elaborate than ours. She skips the olive oil and instead melts butter. Then she crushes some caraway and mustard seeds, adds them to the butter, and tosses the cabbage with the mixture. She also recommends adding some grated Gouda cheese at table. The result? Really good stuff.
- As her recipe suggests, you can add a variety of spice and/or herb mixtures to roast cabbage. Dried thyme is nice, as is fresh rosemary. Caraway and cabbage always pair well. You could also crush a garlic clove or two and add it to the cabbage mixture.
- We generally use Kosher salt in our cooking. Kosher is coarser than regular table salt, so it doesn’t seem as “salty” by volume. If you’re using regular table salt, use about half the amount we suggest.
- Cabbage and corned beef make a classic pairing (and roast cabbage would work wonderfully well for your St. Pat’s Day feast).
- But we like roast cabbage even better when served with pork chops, roast pork, or roast duck. It would also pair well with a flavorful fish like salmon.
- Cabbage is also delicious when Braised or Steamed.
Making Cabbage King
“The time has come,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs, “to talk of many things. Such as the best way to prepare cabbage.”
“Which this is,” I said. “Roasting makes it almost a new veggie.”
“Wonder why it took you so long to cabbage onto this method,” said Mrs K R.
“Don’t know,” I confessed. “It’s not like I just fell off the cabbage truck when it comes to roasting veggies.”
“Guess you were just a slaw poke,” she said.
True. But now I’m a cabbage patch kid.
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Corned Beef Hash
Roast Sweet Potatoes
Roast Belgian Endive
Roast Brussels Sprouts
Or check out the index for more recipes