Sunday, January 25, 2015

Roasted Cabbage and Michael Phillips

Scott got to meet one of his farmer-heros yesterday, at the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference. His name is Michael Phillips. He is an apple grower and he really is an inspiration.

We've had his book "The Apple Grower" for several years now. It's dense with information and real life farm experience. Scott purchased his more recent book "The Holistic Orchard" at the conference and got him to sign it.

Before I geek out farmer style too much, I'll throw up a link to his website (also the website of his wife, Nancy Phillips, a super awesome lady in her own right) and move on to the share description.

Here is the link to learn more about Michael and Nancy Phillips.

As for the share, it will include the following: Carrots, Rutabaga, Cabbage, Uncle Dave's Dakota Squash, Honey Bear Squash, Winter Radishes, and Dried Greens.

I thought very seriously about skipping the cabbage this week, especially because week six was rescheduled and I know that more than a few members are feeling buried in cabbage. I decided not to for a couple reasons. First, there is only one leafy green vegetable (at least only one that I know of--let me know if I've missed something) that can be boxed up in November, put in cold storage, and pulled out two and a half months later just as crisp and delicious as it was when it was packed up. That rocks. It needs to be embraced. It deserves to show up every week in the winter share. Also, I became part of a "What should we do with all this cabbage?" conversation with a couple members last week in which one of them mentioned that he likes to roast his cabbage much the way I roast Brussels sprouts. Why didn't I think of that? I had to run with it. (I did, you'll see the results below.)

Other, less leafy, things are gracious keepers as well. The winter radishes that will show up in the shares this week are mostly purple daikon. Our winter radish harvest was a little smaller than we'd hoped this fall. They mostly drowned in all the late summer rains. Those that didn't drown were devoured by deer. Who knew? At least that was our only major deer loss this year. Anyway, we knew they would keep well so we hung on to a box of them to provide a little variety for the later winter shares. They are still sweet and hot. If you aren't sure what to do with them, check out this apple radish slaw recipe from 2013. If you don't like the heat they're also great cooked, which mellows them. Roasted, sauteed or braised with other root vegetables are good ways to go.

And, of course, a good way to keep green leafy things usable in the winter months is to dry them (did you see how I tied that all together there?). Members will receive a small package of dried mixed greens (mostly kale and chard) this week. They're not seasoned in any way, so they can be used in all sorts of recipes. I like to toss dried greens into scrambled eggs, spaghetti sauce, cheesy grits, or soup.

Which leaves me back at cabbage. Last week I suggested stuffed cabbage, which I hope you agree was a pretty yummy idea. It is also pretty time consuming. Roasting cabbage is definitely not time consuming.

Roasted Cabbage
  • 1 medium head cabbage, cored and cut into wedges
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar (this is optional)
  • sea salt
  • pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees

You probably noticed that I didn't include any quantities in the ingredient list. This is more of a drizzle and sprinkle kind of recipe. Exact quantities are not that important here.

Spread your cabbage chunks on a baking sheet and drizzle on olive oil and balsamic vinegar (if you want to use the vinegar) you need just enough olive oil to coat the cabbage. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper, then stir to make sure that everything is more or less evenly coating the cabbage.

Mine looked like this right before I put it in the oven.
Roast for 15 minutes, stirring the cabbage about halfway through. 

If you follow my directions you will have cabbage that is still crisp, cooked just enough to bring out it's sweetness and give it a roasty flavor.

It will look like this when it's done.
If you would like a more thoroughly cooked roasted cabbage, reduce the oven temperature to 350 and roast for 25 to 30 minutes.

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