Thick wedges of cabbage are coated in a spice rub, roasted until tender and drizzled with a sweet and sticky balsamic glaze.
These roasted cabbage wedges make a brilliant side dish to your favourite main.
Hello cabbage season! At this time of year there is an abundance of cabbage.
Those in my garden are still small though, and they always kinda stay that way (lack of sun problems!) However I picked up a gorgeous (huge) cabbage at the markets, and that is the star of this dish.
Cabbage doesn't always get the best reputation, but I reckon the way it's prepared is the the make or break factor. Boiled cabbage? No thanks. Roasted cabbage? Um YES!
When it's roasted, and the edges go crispy and charred, it takes on this deep and delicious flavour. It's sweet and a little smokey and just really really good.
The spice rub on the cabbage is a mixture of crushed fennel seeds, cumin seeds, salt, pepper and olive oil. Simple, but both cumin and fennel pack a flavour punch.
Then I drizzle it with a homemade sweet balsamic reduction.
Homemade Balsamic Reduction
Now you can absolutely buy this from the store if you can't be bothered reducing your own. But it's super easy to make it yourself from balsamic vinegar, and it's cheaper.
It's simply balsamic vinegar that has reduced down, in a pan until slightly thickened, until it can coat the back of a spoon. It thickens more as it cools.
Reducing it means the vinegar takes on a sweeter molasses-like taste, but the sharp bite of vinegar is still there, which lifts the flavour in this dish.
You can add a little extra sweetness to the reduction with some honey, brown sugar or maple syrup if you like your reduction on the sweeter side. I don't add any, I think it's sweet enough on its own.
Any left over balsamic vinegar can be used in plenty of other dishes! Try it drizzled over roasted veggies or salads.
Cutting the cabbage
I cut 1.5 centimetre thick slices from the cabbage, and depending how wide the cabbage is, I'll cut the slices in half.
The middle part of the cabbage is the toughest part, and it will take the longest to cook. You can cut this piece out if you like, though I don't bother. I like the contrast in texture the middle gives along with the crispy outer leaves.
Cooking the Cabbage
The cabbage needs to be roasted in a hot oven until the stem is tender and the outer leaves are crispy and dark brown. These outer parts add heaps of flavour so don't be afraid of a bit of caramelisation.
That being said, you obviously don't want it to burn, so do turn the oven down if you think they're going too dark.
Once cooked, they're best served hot and straight from the oven, sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley and drizzled with balsamic reduction.
Have you made this ? Tag me and let me know! @home_grown_happinessnz
Roasted Cabbage with Balsamic Reduction
- 1 medium head of cabbage (or half a large cabbage)
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds or ground cumin
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp balsamic reduction homemade (see recipe) or store bought
- chopped fresh parsley to serve
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ tbsp sweetener (optional) honey, maple syrup, brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Slice the cabbage into 1.5cm thick slices. If the cabbage is very wide, each slice can be halved.
- In a mortar and pestle, pound the fennel and the cumin seeds. Add in the olive oil.
- Brush each side of the cabbage with the spice/oil mix and season each side with salt and pepper.
- Lay the cabbage slices on a baking tray in a single layer and bake for 35-40 minutes until the edges are nicely browned and crispy and the middle is tender.
- Serve the cabbage steaks while they are still hot, sprinkled with a little chopped parsley and drizzled with balsamic reduction.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, pour in the balsamic vingear and the sweetener (if using.)
- Bring the vinegar to a simmer and keep it simmering for 15 or so minutes until the vinegar has reduced and it coats the back of a spoon. How fast this happens depends on how wide the saucepan is (the wider the saucepan, the faster it will reduce.)It will thicken as it cools.
- Store any unused balsamic reducton in an airtight jar in the fridge.