Don’t knock these uber simple Pan Seared Red Cabbage Wedges until you’ve tried them ~ this quick side dish is not only healthy, it’s positively addictive!
Red Cabbage is one of ‘those’ foods. You feel a twinge of guilt every time you pass a gaggle of them at the grocery store. You know they’re good for you, but what the heck do you do with them?
I eat it maybe twice a year. Once at Thanksgiving, when we make my great-grandmother’s braised red cabbage, cooked with apples and vinegar. It gets more polite passes than takers, but even though I think it’s really good, I never think to make it at any other time of year, it’s just a Thanksgiving thing. And then, maybe, once a summer, I make homemade slaw and I’ll throw in some red cabbage for color. That’s about it for me and red cabbage.
So when I saw this simple recipe in the NYT for seared red cabbage wedges, and I read that: “The seared flavor of the cabbage is so appealing it is almost addictive.” I knew I had to try it. I know it’s possible, because I’ve had that experience with Brussels sprouts, where the flavor just explodes when the sprout is caramelized by high heat. After all, the two are related, so it makes sense that what works for one would be just as good with the other.
A good hot skillet and some olive oil is all you need for this. I drizzled the seared wedges with a tiny bit of pomegranate molasses just before serving, and that turned out to be a stroke of pure genius. If there’s a better, healthier, easier side dish, I haven’t heard of it.
- 1 small head red cabbage
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Wash the cabbage and remove any loose outer leaves.
- Cut the cabbage into quarters, and then into eighths. Leave the core in so the wedges don't fall apart when you sear them.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan, cast iron works well, and put the wedges in when the oil is very hot. You will see the heat rippling across the surface. The cabbage should sizzle on contact.
- Let the wedges cook for about 4-5 minutes per side, and get nice and browned before you flip them. Tongs work best for this. Add more oil if the pan gets dry.
- Serve hot with salt and pepper.