Sunday, 6 January 2013 | 75 comments

Roasted cabbage “wedge salad”

I am a bit mulish. I am wary of the Next Big Thing. This time of year, it’s difficult to keep this part of me in check. The lists. I hate all the lists. This Big Thing was cool in 2012, but all these Big Things will be SO IN in 2013. And so on. I am starting to sound like your cantankerous grandpa, so hear me out: We are smarter and more creative than this. I can’t help but think we all need to swallow down a hefty dose of I-don’t-care-what-the-eff-anyone-else-thinks.


We are messy, crazy people running about this world doing tiny, gorgeous things out of necessity or expression or love or nostalgia. We demean those beautiful acts if we let anyone or anything else tell us what to do or eat or be. The writers I love most to read, the cooks about whom I love most to learn, the friends with whom I love most to spend time—they are timelessly interesting because they do their own thing. So: cabbage. There are strong opinions about cabbage out there, whether as its Irish-inspired corned beef accompaniment or in kimchi or as coleslaw. I buy savoy cabbage for the sheer reason that it’s so pretty, the frilly party dress of cabbages, a tight package with come-hither flared edges. After I admire it, though, it tends to languish in my crisper until I have to do something with it. This time around, I did what I always do when at a loss with vegetables: blast them on high heat with a little olive oil and salt.

Magic happens, it turns out, with cabbage: the outer leaves become caramelized and crispy, and the insides become buttery and tender. With a little acidity to balance out the sweet-roasted cabbage, you have a savory side or elegant first course for winter meals. Possibly wedge salads are retro and unfashionable (or are they back in?), and possibly cabbage itself is passé (or is that Brussels sprouts?), but this is easy and good, and that is all I want for 2013.
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions,“ Thoreau quipped, “Perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” Cheers to the new year, friends, I think we’ve got good things in store.

….

 

A quick housekeeping note: I’ve added an FAQ page on the sidebar over there <— if you’re interested. Far from exhaustive, but I tried to collect a growing list of questions that appear in my inbox and answered them here.

 

Roasted cabbage wedge salad

I think savoy cabbage is the prettiest, but this will work with Napa or red cabbage as well, with mild variations in flavor. If a whole roasted cabbage is too much for you (as it is for the two of us), do roast the whole cabbage. Covered and refrigerated, it will be ready throughout the week to include in soups and stir-fries.

  1. 1 head savoy cabbage
  2. 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. Kosher salt
  4. For the vinaigrette:
  5. 5 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  7. 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  8. Kosher salt
  9. Fresh ground black pepper
  10. For assembly:
  11. Pecorino romano cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using a large, sharp knife, quarter the cabbage. Depending on the size of your cabbage, these quarters may be good size already. If they seem too large for one plate, halve each of the quarters so you have eight cabbage wedges. Trim away any very pithy or brown ends of the core, but leave the core intact. The core will hold the wedges together while roasting.
  3. Arrange the cabbage wedges on a baking sheet. Drizzle the cabbages with the olive oil, and then sprinkle liberally with kosher salt.
  4. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Roast the cabbage for 30 minutes, flipping the wedges at 15 minutes so they brown evenly. At the conclusion of roasting, the cabbages may have some blackened, crispy outer leaves. If you don’t want this, feel free to take them out a few minutes early, but note that the inside of the cabbage may be less tender than if you had left it in longer.
  5. While the cabbage is roasting, make your vinaigrette: whisk together olive oil, sherry vinegar, and dijon. Taste the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. When the cabbage is finished quickly, work quickly: Plate the cabbage wedges, drizzle with vinaigrette, and grate pecorino romano over the top. Serve immediately, while the cabbage is still hot.

 

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§ 75 responses to Roasted cabbage “wedge salad”

  • Love it — the recipe and reflections. I’m always on the lookout for new things to do with cabbage. Happy 2013!

  • Blaine

    True words! Also in agreement with what to do when faced with “vegetable uncertainty” – roast it, baby!

  • jennifer

    Roasted cabbage is a staple here. We have it at least once a week. Dressing would be too “froo-froo” as my boys would say, so it’s olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. I do.a rough chop though the wedges look nice. Your reflection seems to echo mine. Beautifully put.

  • I’ve been following your blog for a little while now but don’t think I’ve commented yet. I love the sound of this gorgeous recipe and shall try it this week – only this morning I noticed a Savoy lurking in the back of my fridge looking hopeful!

    But apart from the recipe I really like your take on doing your own thing. Great to know there are people out there who can still think for themselves!

  • Oh yes. I found myself nodding along with this. More and more I am learning to embrace my own thing and not worry about what everyone else is doing. Happy new year Sarah, I hope 2013 brings you all the happiness you could want!

  • Ann

    Sarah, thanks for this spot-on post. Well said. Much needed. Your words are beautiful – so thank you for sharing them with us! As for cabbage: try it with Juniper Berries. There something gorgeous about the combination…

    • You are not the first person to recommend the combination to me! Now to get my hands on juniper berries. Thanks—S

    • Tunie

      I second that. I was happily surprised by their flavor when I made my first batch of homemade sauerkraut with juniper berries – they are delicious, and so pretty! Just slightly perfumed and barely fruity.

  • Oh, yes! I remember the first time I threw a cabbage into the oven. I could barely keep myself from eating the whole thing piping hot. So sweet, yet still crunchy. I loved it with just a bit of oil, salt and pepper. I’ve never tried with savoy (I always only ever had green), but I think I might have to give into those come-hither frills this winter!

  • Oh my gosh those new year trend lists drive me crazy. Especially when it comes to food. How can a vegetable, a non sentient thing without a word or a sound to impose on anyone, be passé?! (I read that kale was decidedly OVER in a very prominent food publication recently) It’s so silly and dramatic. Cooking with feeling and intuition is always cool.

    Love these roasted cabbage wedges. Those happy sprinkles of romano on top look heavenly. Happy new year to you, Sarah!

    • Yeah. I get so irked. To be fair, I guess you could argue that all fashion/trend is simply that, and you can’t criticize it for being a bit transient and silly. But I do just hate when people denounce something for no reason other than it being popular. Veggie hipsterism, I suppose. (They are indeed happy sprinkles of romano. Anytime I sprinkle romano, it is a happy occasion.) xo, happy new year, Laura.

    • Might I just quickly add: “ME TOO!!”

      I think we’re talking about the same publication here and what’s worse is that this magazine tells you that kale is OUT and then in the next sentence, they’re practically demanding you to “Tweet it!” Argggghhh. :( :(

  • sarah, wishing you the best of everything in 2013! This is a fantastic recipe and I am looking forward to trying it out with my red cabbage with a side of salmon.
    m x

  • Sarah, you have such a knack for coming up with simple, elegant dishes. I have a feeling that this cabbage will be a mainstay at my table this winter.

    Happy new year! Be well.

  • Heather

    I have never roasted cabbage, but I expect it achieves a caramelization similar to that of Molly’s stir-fried cabbage recipe (http://orangette.blogspot.com/2009/01/best-we-can-hope-for.html). It’s simple and downright addictive. Try it next time your cabbage is giving you trouble!

    Have you tried this one with plain old green cabbage? I may give it a go.

  • When I was in Malmo, Sweden this summer I ate a traditional Swedish meal that included a few wedges of slowly roasted cabbage. “Is this really cabbage?” I kept asking as it felt like I was eating cabbage for the first time. Cabbage and roasting and meant to be.

    Happy 2013! May the year be full of good cabbage and inspiration.

  • P.S. I was just flipping through the Recipes page and I love that you have a category for Things on Toast.

  • I’ve never considered cabbage beyond St. Patrick’s day fare,, but I will no longer ignore them at the market. Anyways, wedge salads are great, no matter their status of “chic.”

  • Love this post, Sarah. The constant churn of newness on the Internet does get tiring, doesn’t it? (I know, you and I have talked about this before.) Tastes do change over time, I suppose, but not THAT quickly. I think there’s a need for someone to say, “Hey you know what? This dish everyone was praising to high heaven two years ago? It still tastes dang good!”

    I love the idea of a roasted cabbage wedge salad!

    Another friend turned me on to sprinkling roasted cabbage with umeboshi vinegar–really excellent.

  • I am so happy you wrote about cabbage. I can’t think of a vegetable less sexy than cabbage!. A little brown butter would be good with this, too, wouldn’t it? . But wait, that is so 2011.; or maybe even 2008. I’ve been around the block too many times to be cowed by trends–they do make me laugh, though (and also slightly irked..) So, let us all celebrate the new year and march to our own music. Happy new year, Sarah!

  • christine.brinkmann.52@facebook.com

    love cabbage, thank you for another thought on how to eat it! I really really love Deborah Madison’s cabbage with peanuts, thai basil, cilantro, and mint – if you haven’t tried it, and you like Thai Basil, it’s my favorite! It’s from her Local Flavors cookbook!

    • Hi Christine—Love Local Flavors —I actually think it is the cookbook I have cooked most from in my life. Deborah Madison’s recipes are so spot-on. But I have never made that salad. I’ll have to try it. Thanks!

  • This is GREAT. March away my friend.

  • Here, here, grandpa!
    Too many years living in Eastern Europe made cabbage not one of my favorite foods but this sounds (and looks) yummy. I’ll give it a try.

  • I love this! Can’t wait to try it. Maybe with some blue cheese? Would that ruin it?

    • Hi Alison—not sold on the blue. With a normal wedge salad you have the crisp and pretty mild-flavored iceberg to balance out how rich and salty it is, but this cabbage is sweet and flavorful. But of course, you’re welcome to try ;)

  • Hear hear! Let’s hope 2013 is all about originality, being yourself and eating more cabbage! I love roasting it – your version looks divine, but do try it with little roasted capers too…sooo good :-)

  • Cheers to “I-don’t-care-what-the-eff-anyone-else-thinks.” And thank you for this cabbage reminder. I need a nice head of savoy and plan to do just what you’ve outlined above.

  • great idea. i have a little cabbage in the fridge that i am uncertain how to use up. can’t wait to try this out.

  • i love this. because i love any vegetable roasted, and anything cabbage. but what i love most is that even tho i copiously roast brussels sprouts, i never think to roast cabbage. maybe because it wasn’t on a next big thing list? thanks for helping to no overlook the ordinary. :)

  • Colleen Falke

    Thanks for the specifics, can’t wait to roast some wedges. Since roasting winter veggies has been going on forever I think we’re trend-free here. Cheers to 2013!

  • March away Sarah, I think your drummer is wonderful. I have roasted cabbage pieces alongside other things, but can’t wait to try the wedge! So glamorous looking, especially your nice savoy. My husband started yelling “Bacon!” when I said “roasted cabbage wedge” – I’m not so much a bacon fiend (and I’m pretty sure bacon is totally passe again these days, after rocketing up the charts all the way into chocolate bars?) but maybe we’ll give it a try. Happy new year!

    • I think this would be awesome with bacon, actually. Poor bacon. Talk about a great, wonderful thing that got out of control. I actually have a recipe with bacon coming up soon. Don’t judge me :) Happy new year, Hannah!

  • I just recently discovered the beauty of roast cabbage, and it was a revelation. I served it simply with olive oil, salt and pepper, but a dijon vinaigrette seems like a very good idea. Happy New Year!

  • You are such a good writer. I love the brevity of your thought and cooking practice. Please get a book deal soon.

  • One of my new year’s resolutions is to work on this balance – while I will happily and easily “do” my own thing away from the cool crowds with their latest trends, I’m yet to conquer the concern about what others “think”. I love your words. And this recipe sounds delicious.

  • The frilly party dress of cabbage. Yes!
    As I sat yesterday, the smell of roasting onions, peppers, garlic, and thyme wafting out of my kitchen, I wondered why anyone does anything but roast their veggies in the winter.
    This will be appearing on my table soon. Good things in store, indeed. xox

  • Sarah, I always read your posts vigorously nodding along in agreement, but usually just a bit too shy to add my voice to the chorus of “amen sister!”s. But, this one I couldn’t resist because oh how I love cabbage – especially the delightfully crisped roasted kind – and oh how many combination disbelieving-uninterested responses I’ve gotten to that over the years. And also because you’re SO spot on about the trends and lists and so on. I think so many people are nervous about cooking anyway, the last thing they need is to be burdened with the worry that the vegetable they’re cooking is passe. Though, I wonder if the lists sometimes get people to try something they wouldn’t otherwise. Few people used to eat kale. But still, it’s sad to think that now people would stop because it’s out. Well, whatever. Keep marching! Happy New Year.

  • You will appreciate this story. In the break-room at the WF I work at there was a binder of “trends for 2013″ from WF corporate for employees to learn and promote on the floor. I picked it up, with cynical curiosity, and got a good laugh at things like “mason jars,” “hyper-local,” and “pumpkin all year long.” The whole thing bored me to death, for one, in it’s insincerity, and second, for it’s total disconnect to what real people actually can/do/want to eat. I’d like to give the finger to anyone or any publication (as Laura/Amelia mentioned) that decides kale, or any cruciferous vegetable for that matter, is out.

  • Amen, to all of it, cantankerous grandpas right through to cabbages. (BTW, have you ever simply cooked it in butter, sliced thin, in great heaps, tablespoons of butter? Salt it well. Give it 15-20 minutes. Use a heavy pot. Or whatever you’ve got. Some sticks, catches, caramelizes like your outer edges. The rest exhales, melts, becomes one with the butter. I can eat a whole head, all by my lonesome. And this is the plain ordinary .69/pound plain green stuff. Glorious stuff. And simple as it comes.)

    Happy New Year to you, Sarah.

    xo,
    Molly

  • … also, “tiny, gorgeous things” …

    this went into my pocket, like a polished beach pebble, which i’ll be carrying about for weeks, months, going over and over in quiet and crazy moments, just to notice again how exquisite it is.

    thanks for that.

    m

  • Nice introduction to the recipe! I’m a fan of healthy dishes and salads, although I must confess I’m not a cabbage lover. But your recipe looks very tasty, I’ll give it a try. Yesterday I found out that roasted lettuce tastes much better than raw. So I assume cabbage should be no exception.

  • Jessica

    This is the way I cook b. sprouts – not sure why I’ve never thought to do the same with (much less expensive) “big” cabbage. Genius – thanks!

  • Beautifully written, quote saved, and shared on Facebook to my friends and family. Thank you.

  • So well said. My thoughts exactly. I roast radicchio and it turns out pretty much like this cabbage, which I hardly buy because I never know what to do with it really, but that´s just laziness on my part. This is much better than a lettuce wedge.

  • I just discovered your blog. It is beautiful. I love roasted cabbage. I’ve never made it in wedges. I slice it thinly and after roasting and toss it with a mustard and maple syrup dressing. But I love the presentation of the wedge, especially for company.

  • db

    I just had to finally comment to tell you how amazing (and amazingly simple!) this salad is. We eat this almost once a week in my house. I have also used and modified the mustard dressing to put on other dishes as well. SO GOOD. THANK YOU.

  • Mike S

    Just discovered your wonderful blog. This recipe looks great and I am going to give it a go over the weekend.

    Closest I have ever come to this is cutting a cabbage in to wedges and roasting drizzled in stock and sprinkled with Caraway seeds. Delicious.

    Mike in London

  • I realise this is months old, Sarah, but I finally got around to trying this tonight. Being Australian, I had to wait til now for the good cabbages. I have to say, we absolutely loved it, thank you for the recipe!

  • cate

    I just made this and it was wonderful! We didn’t make the dressing, because we were lazy ,and there were beers, and oh well; but it was just splendid anyhow fresh out of the oven with nothing but olive oil and kosher salt.

    • “…because we were lazy and there were beers…” Can’t count the number of times similar situations have happened to me :) glad you liked! —S

  • June pitkoff

    Just discovered your web page and enjoyed the roasted cabbage recipe ……will try
    Also enjoyed all the comments…looking forward to checking in with you again…my
    Kind of people..

  • Johnnie Hallford

    Absolutely loved the recipe, not to mention the sentiment of the post! The commenter whose husband wants bacon is also right…..I did this with what I usually do in cast iron skillet….wedges of cabbage, slices of bell pepper, and wedges of onion, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with a combination salt, garlic and celery salt, and pepper, then topped with a little more olive oil when out of the oven, and the juices from the pan, if there are any. I’ve also topped up each wedge with a 1/2 slice of bacon, and left off the drizzle of evvo at the first, and then slight drizzle after done. Delish, and who the heck cares if it is passe’? I will be checking back here, so I’m pinning this to my pinterest page if it lets me…..Thanks so much…..

  • This is one of those recipes that I used to turn my nose up at but then I saw a picture of it like this and actually tried it (not this exact but something similar) and man it is delicious! Great post!

  • Just made this and topped with a poached egg, some fresh meyer lemon juice. Such an easy, lovely meal.

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