With further treatment, though, you can transform cabbage again. All it takes is a smart topping or sauce to promote it from bit player (albeit an interesting one) to dinnertime star.
That’s what this recipe from one of America’s Test Kitchen’s latest books does. By cutting a smallish head into wedges, keeping them intact by cutting through but not discarding the core, you create a gorgeous platform for a sauce of chickpeas and tomatoes. Curry powder, a little sugar, and a generous application of oil help the heat burnish these wedges to a gorgeous deep brown, accentuating the frilly lines of their leaves. The sauce, spiced with a little more curry powder, adds heft without hogging the spotlight.
When you spoon the sauce over the cabbage, you might think of the wedge salads that were hip (again) a few years back. But this is no mere salad. This is a meal, warming through and through.
Storage Notes: The cooked cabbage and the chickpea-tomato sauce can be refrigerated, preferably separately, for up to 5 days. The sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months; freezing the cabbage is not recommended. Reheat the cabbage in a 300-degree oven and the sauce (after thawing, if frozen) in the microwave or on the stove top.
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 3 teaspoons curry powder, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small-to-medium head green cabbage (2 pounds)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- Two (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added chickpeas, undrained
- 1 pint (10 ounces) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved if small and quartered if large
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup plain nondairy yogurt (may substitute dairy yogurt; optional)
Position a rack in the lowest position of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees.
In a small bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons of the oil, 2 teaspoons of the curry powder, the sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt and the pepper. Halve the cabbage through the core, and cut each half — again, through the core — into four equal-size wedges, leaving the core intact as much as possible. (This helps keep the wedges from falling apart in the oven.)
On a large, rimmed baking sheet, arrange the cabbage wedges in an even layer. Brush them all over with the oil mixture. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and roast the wedges, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender and the sides touching the sheet are well browned.
While the cabbage is roasting, in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the garlic, ginger and remaining 1 teaspoon of curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the chickpeas and their liquid, followed by the tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly so the liquid is at a gentle boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes begin to break down and the liquid has thickened, 7 to 9 minutes. Taste, and add more salt if needed.
Divide the cabbage among individual plates and spoon the chickpea mixture on top. Sprinkle with cilantro, dollop with the yogurt, if using, and serve hot.
(Serving size: 2 wedges plus 1 cup sauce)
Calories: 453; Total Fat: 21 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 756 mg; Carbohydrates: 55 g; Dietary Fiber: 17 g; Sugar: 18 g; Protein: 15 g.