Food & Drink

High heat turns cabbage into a dinnertime winner

My grandmother, who lived to be 92, always said the key to her good health was that whenever possible, she ate cabbage. Now if that isn’t a motto worth needlepointing somewhere, I don’t what is.

But maybe Grandma was on to something. Cabbage is full of vitamins, as well as calcium and iron. And 1 cup of it has only about 20 calories, so you can load it onto your plate without worrying about your waistline.

What my grandmother didn’t tell me was exactly how she proposed eating so much cabbage. I mean, cabbage doesn’t exactly pull in clamoring crowds. Most people aren’t all that excited about it thanks to its rubbery texture when raw, its potent cruciferous taste, and its somewhat unappealing sulfuric smell when cooked.

So let’s avoid all of that. But can I talk you into roasting your cabbage?

Roasting cabbage brings out its sweetness, as well as a delicious earthiness. Pair it with some aromatics like onion, shallot or garlic and a hearty spice, then you’ve got a dish that is downright tasty. Even my husband loves my roasted cabbage recipe, and he usually is a cabbage holdout.

The secret to making this cabbage delicious is cutting the cabbage correctly and roasting it at high heat. You want the oven hot enough to crisp up the edges just enough to impart some roasted smokiness. But the interior of the cabbage should remain just tender, not mushy or steamed.

Another hint: Add some spice, sweetness and tartness to the cabbage. In my curried roasted cabbage, I use a hot curry powder and balance the spice with tangy-tart apples and dried currants (though golden raisins would be fine, too). The result is something that I think my grandma would have loved.