If a regular Irish boiled corned beef and cabbage dinner is the essence of soft, silky, and supple, my version is crisped, browned, crunchy – the cabbage included. Roasting it in slices gives the cabbage plenty of surface area to brown in the oven, while the center gets tender but doesn’t turn soggy. We eat roasted cabbage all winter long and into spring, all the way up until the day the first asparagus show up at the farmers’ market. Then we unceremoniously cast cabbage aside – until the next winter, when we are grateful for its hardy, sustaining, sweet presence in every market stall.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 pound green cabbage (1 small one or half a large one), cored
Olive or peanut oil, for brushing
Pinch kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Cut the cabbage into 1-inch thick slices. Brush the slices with olive oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Try to keep the pieces from falling apart (though if they do start to separate that is ok). Sprinkle the cabbage with a generous seasoning of salt. Roast, turning once, until crispy and browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
Obviously you needn’t limit yourself to serving this with corned beef. I like it as part of an all-vegetable meal, with brown rice and fried tofu croutons. It’s also lovely as a side dish for roast chicken, maybe under a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and showered with dill. Sometimes I make it by itself for lunch and eat it accompanied by toasted brown bread with plenty of butter. Sometimes I sprinkle grated cheese (pecorino is excellent) on top during the last 10 minutes of roasting. If you like cabbage, you will find plenty of ways to enjoy this simple dish.