I’ve not always been a fan of cabbage. I only started eating it a few years ago. The cabbage that changed my mind was from this lady that used to cater in Hattiesburg. She called her business Juke, Jazz, and Jambalya. Man, that woman could cook. I work in a medical office where we have reps bring us lunch everyday. We would order from this lady all the time. Our favorite meal to get from her was the roasted pork loin, black eyed peas, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers in vinaigrette dressing, cabbage, mac and cheese, and cornbread. At first, I’d skip the cabbage since I didn’t like it. Or so I thought. When I finally tried her’s, I was hooked. I’d eat two plates of cabbage every time she brought it. That lady moved a few years ago to somewhere in Texas, much to our dismay, but I will never forget her cabbage. I haven’t had any that good since.
Since I never really ate cabbage before, I never really learned to cook it until recently. It can be a pretty forgiving little vegetable. I almost burnt a pan of it one time. I added some water in hopes of reviving it. It turned a weird brown color, and miraculously, still tasted ok. You can add just about anything to cabbage. Bacon and ham give it a nice flavor. I’ve cooked it with onions, bell pepper, apples, carrots. I’ve really only tried saute/stew methods or coleslaw approaches. The roasted route was a new one for me.
This is the second Cook This Now recipe that claimed to have a “crispy” outcome. The “crispy” onions did not reach a crisp status, and neither did this cabbage. It browned, and crisped a tiiiiny bit on the edges, but not enough to claim “crispy” in my book. It was, however, incredibly easy to cook. I cut the cabbage into 1 inch thick slices, brushed them with olive oil, generously sprinkled with kosher salt, and roasted at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Some of the thinner slices that fell apart did crisp slightly on the edges, but the cabbage mostly steamed and turned lightly brown on the large pieces that stayed together. It definitely benefited from that generous sprinkle of salt. It really flavored the cabbage, keeping it from being bland and boring.
The fun part about this recipe is seeing what everyone else in our group cooked with it. Melissa Clark suggests this would be a great as an all veggie meal with brown rice and fried tofu croutons. Umm, yeah. Brown rice and tofu squares as a meal? Not in this house. Big Guy really only tolerates meatless meals to humor me. The man likes his meat. I made pork chops, black eyed peas, and cornbread for our dinner. Actually, Big Guy grilled the pork chops, and the crockpot cooked the black eyed peas, so I really only made cabbage and cornbread. The cabbage went great with the rest of the meal. But as my neighbor said, it’s just cabbage. No bells and whistles. Big Guy loved it. And the black eyed peas. And the cornbread. Then again, those are three of his favorite food right there. The pork chops he could probably do without, but Little Guy and I love them, so I sneak them in occasionally. Once again, he humors me. Next time I’ll make the meatloaf that Dick and Sharmyn made. Big Guy would love that dinner for sure.