Thursday, February 7, 2013

Grilled Cabbage with Spicy Lime Dressing

Ok, I know what you're thinking. Cabbage. Cabbage? But don't judge. Don't give up on this humble veggie without giving it another, newer (and tastier) try. I've always been a fan of raw cabbage, although I know that puts me in the minority. In fact, as a kid I remember we used to ask my mom for the cabbage core whenever she was making cole slaw. If you've never tried the core, please do. It's a little like a radish without the bite. Very tasty. But I digress. I saw this recipe for grilled cabbage on The Kitchn and knew that I wanted to try it immediately. I also knew that I would meet with some resistance from the Hubs, but I thought the spicy lime dressing might bring him around. Well, he admitted he had his doubts, but in the end said that he was "pleasantly surprised." Hey, I'll take it. This is a great, flavor-packed side dish that is surprisingly filling, considering it's pretty much just cabbage. The dressing is very citrusy, but pairs nicely with the mellow cabbage and the garlic and cilantro also stood out. If I had one complaint it would be that I didn't get spiciness from this at all, so next time I might add a jalapeno to the dressing. We used half a head of cabbage for two people, but I'm including the recipe for the whole head below. 

1/4 cup lime juice (2-3 limes)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 head green cabbage
Grapeseed or canola oil

For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients except the cabbage together in a small bowl. The original recipe said to "whizz" them in a food processor, but to be honest, I didn't feel like dirtying up my whole Cuisinart just for this little bit of dressing. So I used my trusty garlic press and I feel like it turned out just fine. Set the dressing aside and prepare your cabbage. Get rid of the outer layers of tough leaves until you get to the tasty good cabbage inside. Cut it into 8 wedges and brush the edges with oil. To grill it, put the wedges on for about 5 minutes or so with the cover closed until the edges start to get some good color. Flip them on the other edge and cook for another 5-7 minutes with the cover closed. We kept the cabbage relatively crisp in the center, but if you want to soften it up even more just cook it for longer.  Then just pour the dressing over the wedge and serve with a knife. Give cabbage a chance! You might find yourself pleasantly surprised as well.

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