Thursday, January 14, 2010

Roasted cabbage with bacon

I had hoped to present a new black sapote recipe for you today (and have a fancy desert for myself), but my sapotes aren't cooperating. One's softened, but the skin isn't browning and flaking the way it's supposed to. Who knows what's going on inside there. The other may as well be a bocce ball for all the ripening its done. I guess the cold snap affected the fruit in my pantry just a badly as it did the ones still on the trees.

Instead, here's how I used up the rest of my cabbage. This is a recipe I saw on this morning, and like most of their recipes, it's pretty simple.

Take however much cabbage you've got, slice it into thick wedges, lay them out on a baking rack over a pan, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, strew with bacon lardons (4 thick slices for a full head), and bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. I added some sliced onion, but otherwise left it as is.

Here it is just before I flipped the wedges half way through roasting:

And here's the final result served over a plate of potato pierogies with a dollop of sour cream:

For as simple a dish as this is, it's pretty darn good, actually. The cabbage takes on a range of flavors and textures depending on how browned it got, from sweet and juicy to toasty crisp. Not a hint of the off flavors cabbage can have. And it's pretty unusual to have cabbage that isn't wet or greasy. It lets you appreciate it for itself instead of as part of a salad or transformed by pickling.

The bacon, of course, pairs fabulously with the cabbage. The onion is less prominent, but it does add a little extra to the dish. Worth including.

I think I'd slice the cabbage a little thinner next time; the thicker slices are just barely cooked through and the centers didn't see much salt. I'd want the bulk of the cabbage softened a little more if I were going to serve it over pasta, as one might if one were out of pierogies.

But really, I find myself considering ways to elaborate on the dish. Top it with buttered bread crumbs maybe? Anchovies instead of bacon? There are some interesting options here.


kat said...

a good idea on how to use cabbage, whenever I get it in my csa box I struggle with using it up

drlindak said...

My 86 year old mom makes killer cheese pierogis. I'll bet she'd love this cabbage recipe, but usually she grabs it and has it used up before I even get it out of the box!