When I posted a shot of this roasted cabbage on Instagram a few weeks back, it quickly became one of my most liked photos.
Why? I would guess that it’s because people gravitate toward things that are both simple and beautiful—in life, in others, and especially in food. I love that. I get that.
We started roasting cabbage like this last summer, back when our CSA haul featured cabbage almost weekly. Months later, we’re still eating it this way, usually as part of a quick weeknight meal along with some sausage and white beans in olive oil (recipe coming soon). Leftovers always go into my lunches along with some feta or goat cheese.
Roasting vegetables is one of my favorite cooking methods. The process is simple yet it results in such full flavors and textures that you really can’t help but love the end result. I understand people not liking steamed vegetables. But roasted ones? Come on. They’re dreamy.
In the case of cabbage, roasting the rounds whole creates an end result so tender that you can even eat the core. The inner ribbons turn silky soft, while the very outer edges char slightly and taste similar to a kale chip, only a million times better. If you never thought cabbage could be addicting, try this and get back to me.
Use the biggest, sharpest knife you have for cutting the cabbage and be very careful, as the whole thing can take a little work to cut through. The garlic is optional. You can also sprinkle any dried herbs you like on top, such as oregano, thyme, or whatever goes best with the rest of your meal. I just kept mine simple here.
One whole cabbage, red or green
Olive oil, for brushing
Salt and pepper
Garlic cloves, whole (unpeeled or peeled—unpeeled is probably better to avoid burning)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place the cabbage upright on a cutting board, core/stem side on the bottom. Slice straight down into one-inch thick rounds, or as close to that as you can get. It doesn’t need to perfect.
Place rounds on a baking sheet. Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt (I use kosher) and pepper. I find cabbage needs quite a bit of salt, so don’t be shy. Place a few garlic cloves on the sheet along with the cabbage, brushing with a little olive oil as well.
Roast for about 30 minutes, until the tip of a knife slips easily through the core. Smash the roasted garlic cloves into the cabbage and serve.