Let’s get this out of the way real quick. This post is about cabbage. But wait, hold on! I know what you’re thinking.“Cabbage. Huh. Well I guess I’ll click back to that tutorial on how operate the vacuum at it’s optimal potential.” I know. Cabbage sounds extremely boring. And no, even though St. Patrick’s Day was last week, this has nothing to do with being Irish (which I am) or colcannon. I’m not even being festive.
But before you click away, I used to think the same thing. Cabbage = bland, watery, overcooked, healthy in that feet-dragging kinda way. But then I lived with Jenn, my old roommate. She made this fresh cabbage salad with tons of lime, jalapeno, shredded carrots, green and red cabbage, tossed with a very light, creamy dressing and handfuls of fresh cilantro. She made me reconsider cabbage. (Other things I learned to love from Jenn: black beans, cilantro, jalapenos, mushrooms and Key lime pie.)
Once cabbage and I made friends, it realized how versatile it is. Have you ever bought a head of romaine lettuce, then realized that you want something you can sautee? Or the opposite. You buy some sweet potatoes, then you crave something fresh and uncooked. This happens to me all the time. Especially when the seasons are changing, like they are right now. The beauty of cabbage though, is that it goes both ways. It’s the bisexual, if you will, of brassicas. Eat it fresh, saute it, braise it, roast it, blow your nose with one of its leaves! (Okay, maybe not the last one. Unless you’re really desperate.)
My recent favorite cabbage recipe is caramelized cabbage with lemon and parmesan. This is a great side dish; basically a warm cabbage salad, sauteed until there are little bits of smoky and burnt leaves, tossed with a squinch of fresh lemon and a handful of cheesy goodness. It’s also great for breakfast; fry up an egg, plop it on top, toast a slice of bread and you’re in business.
Warm cabbage salad with lemon and parmesan
Serves 2 as a side dish
1/2 head green cabbage, sliced very thin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 heaping tablespoons of parmesan cheese, to taste
lemon, to taste (I use roughly 1/4 lemon per 1/2 head cabbage, taste as you go and find your sweet spot)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat olive oil in heavy bottomed saute pan over medium high heat, add garlic, sautee until fragrant. Add the slivered cabbage.
2. Cook the cabbage until browned in places (5-7 minutes). Turn off the heat, add parmesan, lemon, salt and pepper. Taste. Adjust for seasoning. Serve warm. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to three days.