Charred Cabbage Skillet Gratin

published Jan 27, 2022
Cabbage Wedge Gratin with Blue Cheese and Bacon

Cabbage wedges baked in heavy cream until tender are topped with bacon bits, blue cheese, and walnuts.

Serves4

Prep20 minutes to 22 minutes

Cook1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
gratin on a plate
Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe; Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

This recipe is part of Kitchn 100 — the hundred recipes you need right now. Check out all of the amazing dishes, from Kitchn and beyond, here.

Cabbage is a super-versatile ingredient. In the summer, you can grill it on the barbecue, make a crunchy salad, or use it for coleslaw. In cooler months, I like to roast it, braise it, turn it into a pancake, and add it to stir-fries.

You can also transform the humble ingredient into a showstopping centerpiece by cutting it into large wedges, then roasting them in a skillet with heavy cream and leeks. The wedges cook until they’re tender all the way through, and then the tops get charred for extra savory flavor (and a little dramatic flair). Finish the whole thing with bacon bits, thyme-infused walnuts, and blue cheese for a hearty one-pan meal.

Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe; Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

I love this recipe because most of the effort happens at the beginning. Start by rendering bacon in a skillet, then reserve the crispy bacon bits and cook the leeks in the bacon fat. Add heavy cream, thyme, and seasoning to form a cream sauce. The sauce comes together without flour, making this recipe gluten-free. 

Add the cabbage wedges, cover the skillet with foil, and transfer to the oven. Covering the cabbage locks in the moisture, ensuring it gets tender without the cream over-reducing. It’s also best to use a small cabbage here (about two pounds), because the wedges will fit in the skillet and won’t take forever to cook.

While the cabbage roasts, you’ll quickly toast some walnuts and combine them with olive oil and fresh thyme for garnish. Once the core is tender, remove the foil and let it get charred on top. Top the cabbage with the bacon bits, walnuts, and crumbled blue cheese. It’s hearty, deeply savory, and comforting, and will make jaws drop once you place it on the table.

Cabbage Wedge Gratin with Blue Cheese and Bacon

Cabbage wedges baked in heavy cream until tender are topped with bacon bits, blue cheese, and walnuts.

Prep time 20 minutes to 22 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    (2-pound) Savoy or green cabbage

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1

    large leek

  • 1/2 cup

    walnuts

  • 1 small bunch

    thyme

  • 4 slices

    thick-cut bacon (about 5 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 cups

    heavy cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 2 ounces

    blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the top third of the oven and a second rack in the center. Heat the oven to 400ºF.

  2. Quarter a 2-pound cabbage through the core to create 4 wedges. Place on a large plate, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and season with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt.

  3. Trim the dark green part from 1 large leek, then cut in half lengthwise. Rinse the halves under cool water to remove any grit. Cut the leeks crosswise into thin half-moons (about 1/2 cup). Coarsely chop 1/2 cup walnuts and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.

  4. Pick the leaves from 1 small bunch fresh thyme until you have 2 tablespoons; transfer 1 tablespoon to a small heatproof bowl, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt.

  5. Cut 4 slices thick-cut bacon crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Transfer to a medium oven-proof skillet and cook over medium heat until crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.

  6. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan. Add the leeks to the pan and cook over medium heat until just tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Once the butter is melted, turn the heat off. Add 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, the remaining 1 tablespoon thyme, remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and stir to combine.

  7. Using tongs, place 1 cabbage wedge in the skillet and turn to coat in the cream mixture; position rounded-side down. Repeat with the second cabbage wedge. Coat the third wedge in the cream mixture and stack on top of the first two wedges (so there’s room to coat the fourth wedge). Coat the fourth wedge, then arrange the third and fourth wedges in the skillet rounded-side down.

  8. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Transfer to the upper rack of the oven and bake until the wedges have collapsed and are tender through the core, 30 to 35 minutes.

  9. Meanwhile toast the walnuts on the center rack until golden-brown and toasted, about 5 minutes. Immediately transfer to the bowl of thyme oil and toss to combine.

  10. Uncover the cabbage and continue to bake until the tops of the wedges are charred, 25 to 30 minutes more. Sprinkle with the bacon and walnuts. Crumble 2 ounces blue cheese over the top and serve.