The other day, I was marveling at the natural geometry of a cabbage. It’s rather fascinating how the leaves are all structured together, and I thought to myself, “It’s a shame that this geometry isn’t featured more often when cabbage is prepared and served.” …and then I went on to think that I might be able to serve an entire half a cabbage with its accompanying complex structure if I roasted it.
A quick round-up of online recipes revealed that I’m not the first person to think of roasting a cabbage (Quelle surprise!), and there are a few good variations out there. What I’ve written up below is a very simple recipe using olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If you’re into garlic, however, you could easily find a garlic-rubbed version … or a version with en entirely more complex dressing.
The one thing I am doing differently here than most of the other recipes I found online is this: I’m only cutting the cabbage in half. Most other recipes have you cut the cabbage into wedges or slices, but I wanted to keep the halves intact so that they would act as natural “bowls” to hold the tasty juices. If you had a full-size cabbage, this method might require too much cooking time, but it worked fine for me since I had a small cabbage. Your call.
Here’s what I did…
1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Set your cabbage upside-down on your cutting board and cut it in half, splitting the core in half.
3) Place the two halves — cut side up — in a baking dish or on a baking sheet.
4) Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the cabbage halves. Use your finger or a basting brush to spread the oil & vinegar over the cut face of the cabbage, encouraging the liquids to seep down into the layers of the cabbage.
5) Sprinkle salt and pepper on the two halves. At this point, you might have something that looks like this:
6) Bake for about 40 minutes or until some of the cabbage starts to get brown and crispy. (Obviously, the cooking time depends on how large your cabbage is. I only baked mine for 30 minutes, and it was tasty. Mine was pretty small, though, and I do think it should’ve been cooked a little longer.)
7) Eat ’em! If you like, you can cut the roast cabbage halves into quarters or eighths. I thought eighths made a nice presentation. Here are my little cabbage pyramids plated next to some faux-Thai curry: