My grandmother, who lived to be 92, always said the key to her good health was that whenever possible, she ate cabbage. Now if that isn’t a motto worth needlepointing somewhere, I don’t know what is.
But maybe Grandma was on to something. Cabbage is full of vitamins, as well as calcium and iron. And 1 cup of it has only about 20 calories, so you can load it onto your plate without worrying about your waistline.
What my grandmother didn’t tell me was exactly how she proposed eating so much cabbage. I mean, cabbage doesn’t exactly pull in clamoring crowds. Most people aren’t all that excited about it, thanks to its rubbery texture when raw, it’s potent cruciferous taste and it’s somewhat unappealing sulfuric smell when cooked.
So let’s avoid all of that. But can I talk you into roasting your cabbage? Roasting cabbage brings out its sweetness as well as a delicious earthiness. Pair it with some aromatics like onion, shallot or garlic and a hearty spice, then you’ve got a dish that is downright tasty. Even my husband loves my roasted cabbage recipe, and he usually is a cabbage holdout.
The secret to making this cabbage delicious is cutting the cabbage correctly and roasting it at high heat. You want the oven hot enough to crisp up the edges just enough to impart some roasted smokiness. But the interior of the cabbage should remain just tender, not mushy or steamed.
Another hint: Add some spice, sweetness and tartness to the cabbage. In my curried roasted cabbage, I use a hot curry powder and balance the spice with tangy-tart apples and dried currants (though golden raisins would be fine, too). The result is something that I think my grandma would have loved.
Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the upcoming cookbook “Supermarket Healthy.” melissadarabian.net
Curried Roasted Cabbage
Serves 4. Recipe is by Melissa d’Arabian.
1 medium head green cabbage
1 yellow onion, sliced into thick wedges
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced into 8 wedges each
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon curry powder, hot or mild
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup toasted almond slivers
Lemon wedges, to serve
1. Heat the oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
2. Cut the cabbage into quarters, then cut out the thick stem and core from each piece and discard. Slice each quarter into 4 wedges for a total of 16 pieces.
3. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage wedges with the onion and apples, then drizzle with the olive oil and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle the curry powder over everything, coating all sides of the cabbage mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender and all sides are golden, about 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
4. Sprinkle the currants and almonds over the cabbage, then toss lightly to mix. Serve with lemon wedges.
Nutrition information per serving: 250 calories (90 calories from fat = 36 percent of total calories); 10 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated; 0 grams trans fats); 0 milligrams cholesterol; 40 grams carbohydrate (11 grams fiber; 20 grams sugar); 5 grams protein; 170 milligrams sodium.