This winter cabbage made frequent appearances in my vegetable CSA (community supported agriculture) box. Green cabbage, red cabbage, Napa cabbage, Savoy cabbage, they all took turns. I had to become resourceful and find ways to prepare cabbage other than slaw in order to not waste it. It doesn’t actually take a lot of cabbage to make coleslaw, so one head of cabbage goes a long way in a household of two.
One day I decided to try roasting the cabbage. I roast pretty much any and every vegetable, so why not cabbage? I knew one could grill romaine hearts, so the leap to roasting cabbage seemed pretty reasonable. I am soooo glad I roasted this vegetable. The roasting softens the flavour (especially for red cabbage) and makes it sweeter. The darker, crispy bits give a bit of smoky flavour. Roasted cabbage tastes very different than raw cabbage, but retains some crunch. Roasted cabbage is definitely a keeper in my vegetable repertoire.
A quarter of a cabbage is a pretty big vegetable portion, so even though we eat a lot of vegetables, I don’t usually serve other veggies with this. To make it more like a wedge salad, I decided it needed some vinaigrette. I went with Asian inspired flavours for the vinaigrette, and developed a ginger peanut sauce. The sauce is a great complement to the roasted cabbage.
A note about the oils used in this recipe. I use light olive oil on the cabbage as it has a high smoke point (even higher than canola oil) and works well for roasting vegetables at high heat. Don’t use extra virgin olive oil, which has a low smoke point. If you don’t have light olive oil, canola oil works too.
Canola oil works for the vinaigrette, as it has a neutral taste that won’t clash with the Asian inspired flavours of the sauce.
The sesame oil is used in small quantity as it has a strong flavour. It’s distinct flavour adds depth to the vinaigrette, so I highly recommend using it. You will find many uses for it in Asian flavour inspired dishes.
If you find yourself with cabbage in the fridge, and just don’t know what to do with it but don’t want to waste it, try roasting it (or grilling it) and serving it with this vinaigrette. It’s a quick way to eat a cabbage, and it’s pretty tasty too.
Recipe: Roasted Cabbage with Ginger Peanut Vinaigrette
- 1 cabbage (any type), quartered
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoon natural peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (for garnish)
- Pre-heat oven to 425 F (400 F if convection oven).
- Place quartered cabbage on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Liberally coat each quarter cabbage with light olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Roast cabbage for 15 to 18 minutes, flipping cabbage once halfway through cook time.
- While cabbage is roasting, make ginger peanut vinaigrette. Place fresh ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, peanut butter and sesame oil into small bowl and whisk until peanut butter is blended. Gradually pour in canola oil while still whisking, and whisk until well blended and creamy. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender to mix the vinaigrette, but in this case, place all ingredients in a tall container and blend until vinaigrette has a smooth consistency.
- To serve cabbage, place on plates, drizzle each quarter with about 1 ½ tablespoon of ginger peanut vinaigrette, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.