Braised Cabbage and Green Garlic

First know that you can do almost anything to cabbage and it will rarely disappoint.  It will maintain its integrity, take what you give it and deliver delicious vegetable gold.  I literally throw cabbage into everything using its bulk and adaptability as the perfect meal extender.  I use it in soups and curries, toss it into sautes and simply slice it up for an easy slaw.

Braised Cabbage and Green Garlic recipe

Braised Cabbage and Green Garlic recipe

Last week I had an over abundance of green garlic sitting in my fridge.  I also found myself with an extra head of cabbage that was in desperate need of use.  Since they were sitting close together, all cute and cuddly-like, I thought they might like to do the same in a braise.  I had braised both cabbage and green garlic separately but never together, though now that I have, I cannot believe I never did so before.  

The sweet/sharp cabbage is lovingly supported by the sweet/earthy hint of green garlic and while both soften at the same rate, they still maintain good structure.  Add a splash of vinegar for a touch of tang and it is a dish that begs for little more.  Yet please know, the  possibilities for variation are endless.  If green garlic is not in season, toss in a yellow onion.  Have leftover herbs, throw in some thyme and let it do its magic.  Not a fan of red pepper, a little dash of cumin will do ya'.

If you have ever been nervous about cabbage or not sure what to do with it, this is your recipe.  I promise you will become a cabbage convert.  Just be don't want to become obsessive!

Braised Cabbage and Green Garlic

Serves 2

This dish was inspired by Molly Wizenberg's fantastic Orangette post which was similarly inspired by Molly Stevens' All About Braising.  This is the perfect dish for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

1 medium head of cabbage

4 stalks green garlic, ends trimmed and cut until 1 inch pieces

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

A pinch of red pepper flakes

A dash of champagne vinegar (love this stuff!)

Sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees with a rack in the middle of the oven.  Cut the cabbage in half and then again into quarters.  Core the cabbage just a bit, leaving enough to keep the wedge in tact.  Cut each wedge horizontally into thirds so you end up with rather large chunks.

Place the cabbage in a 5-quart Dutch oven (or medium-sized baking dish with a cover) and cover with the green garlic, water, olive oil, red pepper flakes, vinegar and salt.  Put in the oven and cook for an hour.  Remove from the oven and stir the cabbage.  If the mixture seems dry you can add a bit of water.  Return to the oven and cook for another hour.  Remove from the oven and taste for seasoning.  Add a touch of salt if necessary and enjoy!