Cruciferous vegetables – cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts – don’t top many favorite foods lists, since they have strong flavors that are often bitter. However, they are nutrition powerhouses – full of fiber, vitamins A and K, folate, potassium, and antioxidants. Cruciferous veggies may even have anticancer effects.
I have found that a great way to overcome the bitter taste of many of these veggies is to roast them. Roasting brings out the natural sugars in the vegetables, making them sweeter. It also adds caramelization and a crispness, providing more flavor and texture. Another bonus: it is super easy. Throw the veggies on a pan, put them in the oven, and come back in awhile.
I honestly dreaded St. Patrick’s Day as a kid because I knew my mom was going to make cabbage. She always just put the cabbage in the crockpot with the corned beef. Not my thing. This year, I overcame all those bad memories and made this roasted cabbage. So delicious – I even had seconds.
Roasted Cabbage (serves 4)
1 large head of cabbage
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Cut cabbage into quarters, with part of the core in each quarter. Cut each quarter into 4 slices or wedges. Try to keep some of the core in each wedge.
3. Arrange cabbage on baking sheet. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Flip over. Lightly spray again with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt, sugar, and black pepper.
4. Roast in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, flipping about halfway through.
Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 1 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 19 g
Fiber: 8 g
Sodium: 202 mg
Recipe Notes: This is a lot of cabbage for 4 people. I didn’t end up with a bit of core in every piece for mine. It still works if you can’t leave some core in each piece, but is a little harder to flip and to serve. The core may still be tough after it is cooked, so you don’t have to eat it. If you are opposed to cooking spray, you could use olive or canola oil, but try to keep it to one tablespoon or less. I had my pan on the bottom rack of the oven for the first 10 minutes, and I got great caramelization. I moved it up for the second half of cooking, and I thought that worked well to finish cooking it through without burning. If you want more caramelization, leave it lower in the oven, but keep an eye out for burning.
I served this with corned beef, roasted potatoes, and carrots. I think it would also go well with fish or pork, especially dishes with Asian-inspired sauces. I have also used this technique (minus the sugar) for broccoli and cauliflower with good results.
Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Low iodine adjustment: Use non-iodized salt.