Poor red cabbage. Too often braised, too little loved. It’s an absolute gem and incredibly versatile. But what do we do? We boil it for hours to accompany ham on boxing day then forget about it for another year. (That said, a good braised cabbage with salty ham and an unctuous dollop of dauphinoise is a glorious thing, so let’s not be too disparaging.)

Anyway, my point is that red cabbage is so much more than braising fodder which is why I’ve chosen it for my Hero Harvest this week. (If you missed last week’s blog here’s a recap – I’ve decided to focus on one fruit of veg each week and make it the star of the show on Twitter, Instagram and here on the blog. Good.)

red cabbage

If you’re an enthusiastic grower like me, you too may have got a bit over-excited about red cabbages in the summer and planted a good couple of rows only to realise, come winter, that however much you love red cabbage, a household of two cannot eat more than one red cabbage a week (not without inciting mutiny anyway). Hence why red cabbage is likely to appear on some upcoming supper club menus…

Blessed with such a red cabbage mountain, I’ve been exploring new ways to use them. Here are a few quick things I’ve been enjoying:

  • Quick pickled with celeriac and pear then topped with smoked trout (you can find this recipe on my instagram)
  • Shredded and mixed with soy sauce, lime and sesame oil for an Asian-y raw slaw
  • Shredded and fried in a little butter then tossed through with ham hock chunks and roast potatoes for echos of Boxing Day
Red cabbage salsa verde and chickpea mash recipe - Kathy Slack gluts and gluttony

They are also, I discover, absolutely incredible when charred on the BBQ or a griddle. Cut into thick slices (if I were M&S I would call them ‘steaks’, but let’s not, eh?), doused in oil then seared until they become blackened and singed reveals a whole new sweetness to them that is utterly addictive. It’s umami-rich and satisfying, a hearty supper for even the most committed carnivore.

Red cabbage salsa verde and chickpea mash recipe - Kathy Slack gluts and gluttony
Charred red cabbage with chickpea mash and simple salsa verde

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves 2

Charred red cabbage with chickpea mash and simple salsa verde

I'm so excited about this dish. It's colourful, satisfying and accidentally pretty good for you (in fact, it's vegan!). The quality of the chick peas really matters so go for the most flavourful you can find.

  • 1 red cabbage
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bottle of good quality cooked chickpeas (540g drained weight) I like Brindisa Navarrico
  • For the sauce:
  • Small bunch of mint
  • Small bunch of parsley
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  1. Set a griddle pan over a high heat and leave it to get smoking hot.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the cabbage from top to bottom into 1cm slices, leaving the core in to hold everything together. You should get 4 or 5 ‘steaks’ from a cabbage.
  3. Brush the cabbage with olive oil and season heavily with salt and pepper.
  4. Lay the cabbage slices on the griddle pan and fry over a high heat for 5 minutes on each side. The idea is that the outer leaves will be blackened and the cabbages scarred with char lines. You may need to fry them in batches, in which case pop the cooked ones in a warm oven whilst you finish the rest.
  5. Whilst the cabbage is cooking, prepare the rest of the dish. Drain the chickpeas and whizz in a food processor until mashed but not completely smooth. Warm through in a saucepan over a low heat. Depending on the brand you use, add a little salt if needed.
  6. For the salsa verde (of sorts), just blitz the mint and parsley leaves in a food processor with the olive oil and vinegar and a pinch of salt.
  7. To assemble the dish, dollop the chickpea mash onto a plate. Sit some cabbage slices on top and drizzle with salsa verde.
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