The Kitchn: Caramelized cabbage wedges are next-level good
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The Kitchn: Caramelized cabbage wedges are next-level good

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In just 20 minutes, the wedges slip into darkly caramelized, crisp-edged tenderness.

You may be quick to categorize cabbage as wan or boring — especially if you’ve mostly had it boiled. But cooked in a fiercely hot oven, cabbage ascends to the ranks of potato chips: crisp, golden, savory, toasty.

It doesn’t require much — only that steady, long-lasting cabbage (the one that’s been kicking around the back of the fridge for a couple of weeks), a bit of oil and salt, and a blazing-hot oven. In just 20 minutes, the fat, seasoned wedges slip into darkly caramelized, crisp-edged tenderness. If you’ve ever helped yourself to the crunchy not-quite-burnt leaves of roasted Brussels sprouts, you’ll be pleased to find the same dynamic at work here. (Brussels sprouts are really just tiny cabbages, after all.)

Transforming crispy cabbage into a sophisticated side

The cabbage is good as-is, the ribbons hot and crisp, ready to be nibbled with your fingers directly from the baking sheet. But it can also come together quickly into a sophisticated side. Serve with a little bowl of lemon wedges for squeezing, or a judicious sprinkle of sherry vinegar, then top with crunchy coarse breadcrumbs you’ve toasted in a pan with a little olive oil until golden.

Or, while the cabbage cools to room temperature, swoosh a thick layer of Greek yogurt across your serving plate or platter. Arrange the cabbage on top, then scatter with chopped toasted nuts or seeds and a big handful of roughly chopped herbs — I like parsley, cilantro or mint here — and a final drizzle of olive oil.

Oven-Caramelized Cabbage Wedges

Serves 2 to 4 as a side

  • 1/2 medium head green or Savoy cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Topping options: lemon wedges, sherry vinegar, panko or coarse homemade breadcrumbs toasted in olive oil, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, toasted chopped nuts, chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, or mint)

1. Arrange a rack in the bottom of the oven and heat the oven to 450 F.

2. Trim the base from 1/2 medium head cabbage but leave the core otherwise intact. Cut the cabbage lengthwise through the core into 1 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Place the cabbage on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and gently toss to coat. Evenly space out the wedges cut-side down on the baking sheet. Don’t worry if any ribbons of cabbage detach — just arrange them around the wedges.

3. Roast until the bottoms of the wedges are deeply browned, the core is just tender, and any detached ribbons are crispy, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the hot wedges to a platter browned-side up and season with black pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature with lemon wedges or with a drizzle of sherry vinegar. You can also top with toasted breadcrumbs.

4. For a slightly dressier side dish, smear 1/2 cup Greek yogurt on a platter or large plate, then arrange the wedges browned-side up over it. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and herbs.

Recipe notes: Refrigerate in an airtight container up to four days.

(Caroline Lange is a contributor to TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to editorial@thekitchn.com.)

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