At Nolan restaurant in Athens, I tasted a salad of deliciously ‘burned,’ caramelized winter vegetables –pieces of cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli— dressed with a lovely Asian-inspired sauce. “Roasting cabbage wedges at high heat makes them crisp at the edges and tender in the middle,“ writes Melissa Clark in NYT Cooking.
Her recipe, the very first I encountered of roasted cabbage wedges –many have been published since– inspired me to try my version.
I omitted the anchovies and parmesan, but added both soy and fish sauce, as well as a large pinch of my favorite hot Florina smoked pepper, along with plenty of rosemary, which I think complements beautifully this Asian-Mediterranean roasted cabbage. Costas and I loved it, and we make it quite regularly these days.
It accompanies beautifully any kind of meat or chicken, but we also eat it with the wonderful olive-oil-fried eggs from our neighbor’s hens, and feta cheese.
Serves 3- 4
1 medium head green cabbage (1 ½ kilo, about 3 pounds)
½ cup fruity olive oil, plus more to drizzle at the end
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3-4 garlic cloves, finely grated, or passed through a garlic press
2 teaspoons piperokama or any good smoked, hot pepper
¼ cup rosemary leaves, and more sprigs to serve
Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
½ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs, or chopped walnuts or other nuts, such as almonds or hazelnuts
Heat oven to 450 F (230 C).
Cut the cabbage in quarters lengthwise through the core, then cut out the cores and stem. Slice the quarters lengthwise into about 1½-inch-thick (3,5 cm) wedges.
Place the wedges on a rimmed sheet pan, lined with parchment paper, flat sides down. It’s OK if the pan seems a bit crowded; the wedges will shrink as they roast but try not to overlap much, if possible. Lightly drizzle them with oil.
In a small bowl, combine the soy and fish sauces, the garlic, the smoked pepper and the rosemary leaves. Add about ½ cup olive oil and stir to mix. Massage this mixture into each cabbage wedge, making sure it goes in-between the leaves.
Roast until cabbage is lightly browned in spots, about 20 minutes. Spritz with water, nd contilue roasting another 10 minutes, until the cabbage is tender and caramelized. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and roast another 10 minutes, then remove from the oven, drizzle with a bit more olive oil, sprinkle with some black pepper and serve immediately or let cool and serve at room temperature.