Friday, January 20, 2012

Roasted Cabbage with Parsnips & Apples

I came up with this recipe while thinking of a different way to make cabbage as a side dish for apple bratwursts from the Weeping Radish Brewery & Butchery.  I wasn't in the mood for sauerkraut or cole slaw, and I figured roasting would be a good wintertime choice.  It was.  Roasting provided a buttery texture and deep, mellow sweetness that was incomparable, and unlike other cooking methods, it kept the cabbage from stinking up the kitchen.

Because cabbage and parsnips can range from very small to rather large, I included the weights of what I used last night.  While I used a head of green cabbage, this recipe would probably also work very well with red cabbage.  The variety of apple I used was Pink Lady, but feel free to use whichever type of apple you prefer or have on hand.  And if you don't care for the flavor of fennel seeds, you could substitute caraway seeds.  In addition to pairing perfectly with bratwurts, you can serve this side dish with any roasted or grilled meats or poultry.  Makes 4 side servings.

1 small cabbage (1 1/2 lbs)
3 parsnips (3/4 lbs total)
2 apples
2 to 3 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper (I used freshly ground white pepper)

Before roasting
Grease a large roasting pan with a little olive oil and preheat oven to 425°F.  Remove any bruised outer leaves from the cabbage, then use a sharp knife to cut into quarters leaving the core intact (you can trim off the very end if bruised - leaving the core intact helps to keep the cabbage pieces together while roasting).  Cut each quarter in half to make a total of 8 wedges.  Use a pastry brush dipped in some of the olive oil to brush the wedges with oil to lightly coat, then arrange in a single layer on the roasting pan.

Served with apple bratwurst
Peel & trim the parsnips, then cut into 1/2" thick pieces (you can cut really long, skinny ends into 2" long pieces).  Cut the apples into quarters, cut out the cores/stems then cut each quarter in half crosswise to create 8 chunks per apple.  Toss the parsnips, apples, 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the fennel seeds in a large bowl until the apples & parsnips are evenly coated.  Spread this mix on the roasting pan with the cabbage and try to keep everything in a single layer.

Roast at 425°F for 30 minutes, then check and gently turn over the cabbage wedges etc. to ensure they roast evenly.  Return pan to oven, lower temperature to 400°F if the veggies and apples are browning too quickly without sufficiently softening, and roast for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until everything is soft and the color is golden brown.

Zestfully yours,

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