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Collapsing Cabbage

By Catherine Newman

Makes: 6 servings

Total carbohydrates: 10 gram per serving

Hands-on time: 15 minutes

Total time: 20 hours 30 minutes

This is a combination of an old favorite recipe of mine, Molly Stevens’s Braised Cabbage from her wonderful book All About Braising, and Adeena Sussman’s Melted Cabbage. Somehow, this is less fussy than either recipe, while remaining entirely, meltingly delicious and filling your home with a very comforting and old-fashioned aroma. Our grocery store sells basketball-sized heads of cabbage—you can watch all the Polish grandmothers fill their carts to make golumpki and kapusta—and we saw away at them for weeks. If your cabbage is likewise enormous, just eyeball the amount here: you want to fill your pan with wedges that around 2 inches thick at their thickest point.

Ingredients

2 pounds green cabbage (1 smallish head—or some portion of a larger cabbage)

1 onion, halved and cut into ½-inch slices

¼ cup (plus more) vegetable or chicken broth (or water)

¼ cup dry white wine (or more broth or water)

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon table salt)

Freshly ground black pepper

Red pepper flakes, if you like (I use Aleppo, which is lovely)

Lemon wedges and/or grated parmesan and/or neither (for serving)

Instructions

  1. Oil a large baking dish (9-inch by 13-inch, such as a lasagna pan), and turn the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Peel off the cabbage’s outer leaves and throw them away. Trim off anything that looks like you wouldn’t want to eat it, including the very bottom of the core. Now cut the cabbage into wedges that will fit in a single layer in your pan. If you’re using a small cabbage, this will likely be 6 or even 8 wedges; if you’re using part of a vast cabbage, this may be as few as 4 wedges. Arrange the wedges in the pan so that they overlap as little as possible.

  3. Scatter the onion over the cabbage.

  4. Drizzle the broth (or water), the wine (or stock or water), and the oil over the cabbage. Sprinkle the salt over it, then season with black pepper and (if you’re using them) red pepper flakes.

  5. Cover tightly with foil and put the pan in the oven. Bake until everything is completely tender, around 2 hours, turning the cabbage wedges over with tongs about halfway through.

  6. Peel off the foil, increase the heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and roast until the remaining liquid cooks off and the cabbage begins to brown, around 20 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, with or without lemon wedges and/or a sprinkle of parmesan. Leftovers are absolutely fantastic the next day.

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]

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