Thursday, June 21, 2007

Green and lovely

When I chopped this beautiful pointed cabbage in half and sneaked a couple of those creamy white, crunchy baby leaves into my mouth, the sweet crunch and the sheer joy of all those squeaky green leaves almost made me sad to adulterate it at all...

But then I tried this recipe that I saw a couple of months ago in Yoga Journal of all places, and oh, it didn't hide this cabbage's loveliness, it elevated it into one of the most satisfying pleasing dishes I have eaten recently.

That made me happy.

It's a gratin. The inside is creamy and full of green cabbagey goodness, and the top is cheese and breadcrumbs - and I can not believe there is anyone who can resist a cheese and breadcrumb topping on anything. (But maybe that is just me?)

I used a pointed cabbage for this recipe as I mentioned; the author of the article favours swiss chard and kale, but the original recipe calls for savoy cabbage, so go with what you like. Cheese is flexible too. Try gruyere instead of the cheddar and parmesan I used or any other hard tasty cheese you fancy. This is the version of the recipe I used:
Green Gratin
  • Slice one onion in to the thinnest slices possible
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat, add the onion, reduce the heat to low and cover to let the onions sweat, stirring them occasionally until they are very soft
  • Cut one pointed cabbage into very thin slices and add them to the onion. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or so until it has all wilted.
  • Remove the cover and continue to cook, stirring, until the cabbage is soft - about another 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Grease a baking dish and set aside
  • Sprinkle a teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of plain flour over the cabbage, increase the heat, stirring still, and add one cup of milk a little at a time as you continue to stir, creating a sauce for the vegetables
  • When it has thickened (about 5 minutes), spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish. Mix 2 tablespoons grated parmesan with 2 tablespoons grated cheddar and 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs and scatter over the surface.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes until the top is crusty and golden and the edges are bubbling - about 20 minutes

The original recipe apparently came from 'Great Greens: Fresh, Flavorful and Innovative Recipes' by Georganne Brennan, which looks really interesting.

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