Grilled Cabbage with Honey Mustard Dressing [MMAZ]

Let’s talk about cabbage.

The humble cabbage

The humble cabbage (plus honey mustard dressing)

Such a funny, unassuming (and perhaps under-rated) vegetable. Prior to this winter, I’m not sure if I had ever purchased a whole head of cabbage. Pre-shredded bags of coleslaw mix, sure, but a head of cabbage? Probably not…

This winter, however, I discovered the joys of cabbage, both green and purple, after receiving a head cabbage in a Bounty Box from Relay Foods. Unsure of what to do with my cabbage, I turned to the blog world, where I was inspired by Sarah to cut my cabbage into wedges and roast it in the oven. The resulting wedge salad I created was terrific, and I realized that as with most vegetables, roasting a cabbage is the way to go–the natural sugars caramelize, creating a delicious result. A cabbage is, after all, pretty much just a large brussels sprout, and who doesn’t love roasted brussels sprouts?!

Grilling cabbage

Grilling cabbage

When my parents came into town this weekend and our talks turned to dinner cooked on our new grill, I remembered the lovely savoy cabbages that I had seen at the City Market the past few weeks and began dreaming about grilled cabbage, topped with a dressing inspired by Tim‘s idea for a cashew cream veggie dip and Sarah‘s honey mustard dressing. The result was superb–crispy edges, soft interior, and a dressing with a perfect amount of sweetness, tanginess, and body. It’s a perfect spring recipe as the weather warms to grilling temperatures, but the last of the winter veggies are still lingering at the market.

Grilled Cabbage with Honey Mustard Dressing

Grilled Cabbage with Honey Mustard Dressing

Grilled Cabbage with Honey Mustard Dressing

Ingredients

  • One head of (savoy) cabbage
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cashews, soaked for 4 – 8 hours and drained (discard the soaking water)
  • apple cider vinegar
  • whole grain mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • soy sauce/tamari
  • water

Method

Remove outer leaves from the cabbage; wash and slice into wedges. Arrange wedges on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

Combine remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Grill cabbage wedges until softened, about 5 – 8 minutes per side. Drizzle dressing over the cooked wedges; pass additional dressing around the table, as needed.

Delicious!

Delicious!

A big thanks to Heather for hosting today’s Meatless Monday from A – Z link-up. Be sure to check out the other recipes created for today’s link party for inspiring and creative ways to cook with cabbage.

BWV-Round2-April-Cabbage_thumb

What is your favorite way to prepare cabbage?

-L

Further Lessons Learned in the Kitchen – Patience

Spending hours in the kitchen not only results in food that nourishes the body, but it is a process that nourishes my soul. It is time that allows me to disconnect from technology, from other concerns, and to focus on the task at hand.

Kale, Cabbage, and Quinoa Salad

Kale, Cabbage, and Quinoa Salad

It is also a time for me to experience powerful learning moments. In the kitchen, I have learned the value of process, as well as the value of failure. Most recently, I have been reminded of the value of patience.

Weeks ago, I picked up a bag of hazelnuts at the store, thinking about how incredible it would be to make hazelnut butter. Hazelnut butter soon turned into Nutella. So, last Saturday, after breakfast and crosswords with my husband, I placed 2 cups of hazelnuts into the oven for a quick 10 minute roast in order to loosen the skins.

I slowly and painfully** rubbed the skins off of the nuts, and placed them into the food processor.

Roasted hazelnuts

Roasted hazelnuts

**Do not do as I did and use your bare fingers…it will create a slight blister. Use the “kitchen towel” technique!

Once the hazelnuts were pulsed into a coarse meal, I added a few teaspoons of raw cacao, and kept on blending…. and blending… and blending…

Pulsed hazelnuts

Pulsed hazelnuts

But unlike when I have made other nut butters, that magic moment when things get creamy kept illuding me. Getting frustrated, I figured that I must need to add some moisture, so I added one, and then two, tablespoons of almond milk. The mixture became moist, but not smooth and creamy. Deciding that Nutella was no longer an option, I threw some dates into the mix and made “Nutella Bites.”

They aren’t great, but they are edible. I need to tweak some things before this recipe is “shareable.”

Nutella Bites

Nutella Bites

Curious to learn where I went wrong, I sat down and started to research (something that would have served me well before my experiment began…). I learned from Oh She Glows that I lacked the necessary patience. Getting the mixture to that creamy place can take a full 15 – 20 minutes of constant processing.

So, my failed attempt at making Nutella, just like my failed attempt at making yogurt, was due to a lack of patience… And yet, the next day, I sliced, roasted, peeled, chopped, and simmered ingredient after ingredient to make a delicious, healthy, and hearty quinoa, cabbage, and kale salad, inspired by Ashley’s quinoa salad and Sarah B’s braised cabbage.

I documented the process with my iPhone, and the finished result was so beautiful, I just had to take some “real” photos to share this creation. On a slow Sunday afternoon, creating this colorful salad was a labor of love.

Sliced Cabbage

Sliced Cabbage

A 3 pound head of cabbage (the smallest I could find) is a LOT. I braised the whole head, but used only about half in this salad.

Cut in half and roasted for 10 minutes, then seeded, peeled, and cubed

Butternut Squash – Cut in half and roasted for 10 minutes, then seeded, peeled, and cubed, and roasted for an additional 15 – 20 minutes.

Squash is easier to deal with once it is softened.

Peeling a blood orange

Peeling a blood orange

Blood oranges are so beautiful – one of nature’s many delights!

Combine sliced kale, chopped orange, and chickpeas

Combine sliced kale, chopped orange, chickpeas, and dressing

I took at least an hour preparing this hearty salad that provided me with meals all week long. It occurred to me after the fact that while I continue to procrastinate my experiments in bread making because “it takes too long,” the active time to make bread is far less than the time I spent making this “easy” salad.

Add ~2 cups cooked quinoa

Add ~2 cups cooked quinoa

It’s all a matter of perception, I guess. Something about working with vegetables relaxes me. I love chopping them. Fresh herbs, however, often intimidate me with their “laborious” preparation process (i.e. washing, drying, and chopping). Clearly, my mental perception is slightly skewed.

Toss in squash

Toss in squash

Awareness is the first step, though, so fresh herb chopping and bread making loom on the horizon.

Braised cabbage

Braised cabbage

Perhaps because of the time and attention it took to prepare this salad, I delighted in eating it for lunch or dinner each day last week.

Last but not least, toasted pecans

Last but not least, toasted pecans

My patience was rewarded! With so many textures and flavors, this salad was great. I look forward to repeating it with variations here and there.

What lessons have you learned in the kitchen?

-L

“Homesick Texan” Carnitas and Slaw

Within the past few years, a really great grocery service has opened here in Charlottesville (and now serving Richmond and Northern Virginia, too!). Relay Foods sources their groceries from local vendors, including farms and bakeries as well as bigger grocery stores. You order online, and pick up at locations around town (or pay more for delivery).

I have known about and deeply respected Relay for a while now, but I had not ordered from them until last week, when I remembered that Relay makes it possible to get produce and meat from local farms when the City Market is not in session.

Carnitas taco with cabbage slaw

Carnitas taco with cabbage slaw

Perusing the Relay site for my first order, I was inspired by the wide selection of local pork, and decided to make carnitas, my husband’s favorite Tex-mex meat. Carnitas means “little meats” and is basically just slow-cooked chunks of pork that are often shredded once they finish cooking.

I turned to The Homesick Texan Cookbook for inspiration and direction on both the carnitas and a cabbage slaw.

Hokmesick Texan cookbook

After a year and a half in Charlottesville, we have developed a little “crew” of friends, made up of two other young married couples. It’s been so nice to have a got-to group for casual dinners, drinks after work, game nights, and TV show viewings. Since I ordered more than enough pork for two, my husband and I invited a few friends over for a lovely Saturday dinner to help us enjoy our feast! I set up a taco bar and let everyone assemble their own plates.

taco bar

You can find my recipe for both carnitas and the cabbage slaw over on Cotter Crunch today, where I helped Lindsay out with a guest post.

Enjoy!

-L