I am going to straight out admit that I’ve never liked cabbage. In northern England, the most excessive and exciting way to eat it is by creating a sloppy mess slumped on your Sunday roast dinner plate. Not appealing. With many cruciferous vegetables, I think a lot of us have a shared lack of knowledge of various ways to cook them, or maybe that’s just me. But the standard seems to be, roast, boil or fry, add a dash of salt and that’s about as adventurous as I get.
This is probably why cabbage has never really taken my fancy. Not knowing how to flavour or season it, the best way to cook it for different textures. And in all honesty, I have ever really given it much thought…until last month. This was a time when my perspective of cabbage (and most vegetables) completely changed. It was like an epiphany. The grand awakening of the cabbage, or something like that.
Recalling back to July, an old friend of mine, now a chef, invited my partner and I round for dinner. It was a chance to have a well deserved catch up, especially as lock down measures had been lifted in the UK and we enjoyed some good, home cooked food together. Plus, you always know it’s going to be good when your host is a professional chef.
The Moment of Truth
But, being a slightly picky eater, I was skeptical about what was about to be served, but my God was I wrong. We were presented with several small dishes ranging from fried chicken to a cream based fish, but what was the standout? The cabbage.
This was living proof that vegetables can be amazing if you know how to cook them. The white inside of the cabbage contrasted with the charred golden edges after being blasted at a high oven temperature for 20 minutes.I bet you’re itching to know what made it taste so good, well luckily I am going to tell you, it’s a secret that needs to be shared.
Here were the key ingredients:
- Green chillies
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Toasted cumin seeds
Now I don’t know about you, but toasting cumin seeds and throwing them on a vegetable was never an idea I have had before, I didn’t even know it was a thing. I would like to think that I’m quite up to date with the latest food trends, but not when it comes to vegetables. This was possibly one of the first times I truly enjoyed eating a vegetable more than meat.
Looking for another way to try out your new-found love of cabbage?
And the Cabbage Flavor
The cabbage acted like a sponge, soaking up the marinated flavours, but somehow managed to stay crispy enough that it didn’t feel soggy in your mouth. These were such obvious flavour combinations, chili and lemon, but I’d never have thought to put them on a cabbage.
And what’s the take home lesson from this? Learn more about cooking vegetables. Experiment with flavours and cooking methods. because something that might be growing in your back garden could produce the best meal you’ve ever had.