Do you ever pretend a mistake was on purpose?
Take my recent attempt at green cabbage. Originally, I envisioned it as an echo to my red cabbage efforts (here and here), which both turned out quite successfully: soft, slightly sweet, and mellow from long cooking over low heat.
Repeating this method should not have been a problem, since the rest of the dinner, Marcella Hazan's Pot Roast of Beef Braised in Red Wine, required little supervision. But somehow, I got distracted watching back-to-back episodes of "Mythbusters," left the heat too high, and forgot to check on the cabbage for quite some time. When I did eventually remember it, it was more brown than green and had stuck to the pan.
Mon petit chou! I thought. I've neglected you.
But since it was too late to start anything new, I scraped it out and served it alongside the pot roast.
"Isn't it nice how crispy the cabbage is?" I said to the husband, as if it had been my intention all along. "It adds such a good texture to the whole dinner."
As nicely as the cabbage turned out, I realize the pot roast is the more desirable part of this dinner, and that is probably the recipe you'd like to see. But while it's simple to make, it's long to type out. And, I highly recommend you add Marcella's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking to your collection. This book is not only full of excellent recipes, but countless techniques that I have now integrated into all of my cooking. But if you really want the recipe, email me and I'll scan it and send it to you.
Crispy Forgotten Cabbage
1 head of cabbage, red or green, thinly sliced
3 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a wide skillet. Add garlic, and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add cabbage, liberal sprinklings of salt and pepper, and toss. Turn up the heat to medium-high and cook for 30-45 minutes, depending on how you prefer it, stirring occasionally. But not too often: you want it to get, you know, crispy. Check seasoning before serving. In my opinion, cabbage needs a fair amount of salt.
That concludes my cabbage recipes for the time being. Thanks for hanging in there, I know they're not the most glamorous little guys. But even the drabbest winter vegetables deserve their moment in the spotlight.