Braised Cabbage

My mother-in-law is a fantastic cook. Everything she makes is delicious, and when I compliment her on a particular dish, she will often say "it's really easy to make," because she is one of those skilled cooks who doesn't realize that while it may be easy for her, and while she may even give me the recipe, my version still won't necessarily turn out as good as hers.

There is one dish she makes that is in my top 5 favorites list, and she of course gave me the recipe, but for some reason, mine is never quite as good as hers! I still make it quite frequently any way and I always enjoy eating it. I think one key thing is to make sure you use a cabbage that is not too large.

If you manage to get it right, this is a dish that turns out to taste absolutely lovely. It melts in your mouth with a nice rich and smooth flavor, and it makes a great side to any number of things. It's also fun to make on one of our chilly cloudy "summer" days because the oven is on for a couple of hours making your kitchen cozy and warm.

Braised Cabbage:
Heat the oven to 325 and spray a large gratin or baking dish with non-stick spray. Using a small to medium sized green cabbage, peel and discard any ragged outer leaves and cut the cabbage into eight wedges. Arrange the wedges in the baking dish in a single layer, allowing them to overlap only slightly if at all.

Thickly slice one large yellow or sweet onion, and cut 1 large carrot into 1/4 inch rounds. (I used shredded carrots because I already had some that needed to be used up, and that works fine as well.) Scatter the onion slices and carrots in with the cabbage.

Drizzle 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil over the vegetables, followed by 1/4 cup vegetable broth. Sprinkle the veggies with 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and a little salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil and place in the middle of the oven. Turn the cabbage wedges with tongs after one hour. If the dish is drying out at all, add a few more tablespoons of broth or water, and then cook for another hour or until tender.

Once the cabbage is completely tender, remove the foil and increase the oven to 400. Roast the vegetables until they begin to brown, for another 15 or so minutes. Then enjoy warm or at room temperature.