Cabbage Steaks Are The Wonderfully Charred Way To Eat A Salad

Cabbage has never been given its due credit in the culinary world. It's often thought of as peasant food, reserved only as a filler ingredient. And it hasn't exactly been given a lot of special treatment, often boiled beyond recognition. But you may have been hearing a lot more about cabbage recently — maybe to your surprise, a friend even raved about a spectacular cabbage served at a gourmet restaurant. So what gives? 

The answer is that folks aren't just throwing cabbage into a pot of borscht anymore (though we certainly still love a bowl of the stuff). Instead, it's getting the char-grilled treatment. Cut into large wedges and grilled in oil or butter, or a combo of the two, cabbage steaks are the new smoky vegetable star of the dinner table. And with a few tips, you can make them at home as a stunning appetizer, or even a tasty entrée.

Making charred cabbage at home

Even if you don't have a grill to toss the cabbage onto, you can still make this dish at home. Cut the cabbage either into rounds or wedges — the more exposed edges the better for charring purposes. Wedges are slightly easier simply because you can keep the stem intact, which means the cabbage is less likely to fall apart during the cooking process, but to each their own. Make sure the cabbage steaks are completely dry or else you may steam them and end up with little more than burnt cabbage purée. Season the slices with salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you'd like; to make the seasoning stick, apply the oil directly to the cabbage. One key here is not to douse the cabbage in oil, which will make for a greasy veggie. Instead, use a brush to lightly glaze the cabbage slices in a neutral, high smoke point oil such as canola or grapeseed. 

You'll also need a cooking pan over medium-high heat before the cabbage hits the surface; we like cast iron for searing, but stainless steel would do, and of course, a grill would work as well. Drop the cabbage slices into the sizzling hot pan and allow them to sit untouched for about 5 minutes on each side, or until you see a dark char and the cabbage is tender. Serve on its own, add a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt, or serve it up with garlic aioli.