Last week I showed you some baby cabbages I bought at the Hollywood Farmers' Market in my post about dropping in on other cities' farmers markets. These little fist-sized gems called out to me so I bought an armful without knowing how I'd cook them. I didn't want to torture them too much, but wanted a warm, comforting dish to go with some grilled pork chops on a rainy night.
I started by cutting them in half. (Look at that gorgeous pattern; doesn't it look like someone reaching up to the sky?) Then I cooked them in a bit of chicken stock for about an hour. Toward the end of the cooking process, I gave the cabbages a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar and honey for sweetness and color, and bread crumbs for texture.
Each of the three varieties of cabbage had a different flavor and texture. Hands down the tastiest was the Napa cabbage, but all three had great flavor and were a nice compliment to some grilled pork chops.
1 1/2 lbs baby cabbages (or any size cabbage weighing a total of 1 1/2 lbs) 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup chicken stock or water 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 2 teaspoons honey 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 400°. Place rack on center rung. Grease baking dish (9"x13" or close) with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
Peel off and discard any distressed outer leaves on the cabbages. Cut each cabbage in half (or quarters if using a large cabbage) and arrange pieces, cut side down, in a single layer in the dish.
Drizzle over remaining 2 tablespoons oil and stock. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil, and place in oven to cook until the vegetables are tender, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make a syrup by whisking together the vinegar and honey.
Remove foil, carefully flip the cabbage with tongs and evenly drizzle the vinegar and honey syrup, then the breadcrumbs across cut sides of cabbage. Cook, uncovered, another 10-15 minutes minutes, until cabbage begins to brown.