Thank you all for your lovely well wishes! We had an amazing trip to California, but I'm going to wait to tell you about that because I think it's time we got back to some cooking! I have to say, I didn't miss my kitchen one bit while we were on our 3 week vacation, but it's nice to be back. It's a good thing I had a break too, since our workplace cafeteria is closed for five (five!!) weeks, so I'm making all our breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at home now. Oy.
I love a good vegetable dish. Vegetables to me are so much fun to cook - they're challenging, you have to add in texture and dimension and the oomph that meat gives to a dish. I like the seasonality, the care taken in preparation, that vegetable cooking brings. Just when I think that X is my go-to favorite way to cook eggplant, I come across Y, and my whole world is changed.
I was nodding in agreement when I read Luisa's post about a head of cabbage being a meal in itself. It's a philosophy I've long stood-by. Whether braised with apples and cider vinegar, flash-cooked with hot pepper and black bean sauce in a wok, shredded and added to a slaw, cabbage is my jam. So, when I cam across this new technique for a spicy cabbage that takes just minutes to prep, well obviously I was on board.
This recipe is great - I love the crunch and mix of flavors of all those whole spices, the easy and fast preparation. This is a great side dish to a pork chop or some grilled chicken, but it's also great on its own or with a fried egg on top.
Spiced Seeded Cabbage
Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey.
half a large head of green cabbage
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 medium onion, peeled and cut lengthwise into fine half rings
1 teaspoon salt
smidge cayenne pepper or hot sauce
squeeze of lemon juice
1 teaspoon garam masala
1. Cut the cabbage lengthwise into very fine, long shreds. Discard any thick inner core. A bread knife or chef's knife is ideal for this.
2. Place oil in a wok over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the cumin, fennel, and sesame seeds. As soon as the sesame seeds begin to pop, put in the onion. Stir and fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onion has browned a bit.
3. Put in the cabbage. Stir and fry for about 6 minutes or until the cabbage has browned somewhat. Put in the salt, garam masala, and cayenne. Turn down the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring now and then, for another 7 to 8 minutes or until the onions appear caramelized and soft. Note: you may need to do this in a couple batches.
4. Add the lemon juice, stir, and taste for seasoning. Serve warm.