As winter lingers on, I’m trying to stay patient and cook with what’s in season here in England. Luckily, my family and I never seem to get tired of this simple crispy cabbage. We often eat it as a hot side dish, but it tastes great at room temperature as well. My kids like to take it in their lunches, and they sometimes have it for a snack while waiting for dinner.
I’ve even used extra thinly sliced, extra crispy pieces to top butternut squash or lentil soup, treating it like an alternative to pancetta or bacon. It is beautifully colored and very satisfying, thanks to its crispiness and of course the olive oil and sea salt.
Don’t underestimate your kids on this one. If they are already used to things like the ever-popular kale chips, then this will be an easy sell. But if your kids don’t typically like leafy vegetables, don’t let it stop you from trying this recipe out. You can cut it a bit thicker, like my 5 year old prefers, call it “crisps” or “chips,” and I’ll bet your kids will take a taste and then go back for more. In fact, the red cabbage version of this dish is the one my husband and I named the “gateway veggie.” Now that my kids know and like red cabbage roasted like this, they will accept nearly any roasted vegetable and they will even eat slices of raw cabbage while the rest of it is roasting. It’s a great way to add extra fiber to their diets (and of course it doesn’t contribute any added sugar). Roast some up for your kids, and watch it magically disappear.
Today I made this recipe with both red and savoy cabbage. Both were grown here in the UK and cost 80p ($1.14 USD) each.
Seriously, what’s not to love about this recipe? In fact, it’s so simple that it’s really a no-recipe-needed-recipe, but still I will describe to you how I make it. Try it out with any cabbage you can find, and I bet it will become a favorite in your house, too.
Serves six as a generous side dish or snack.
- 1 medium head of cabbage (red, green, savoy, or other variety)
- Approximately 1/3 cup olive oil (or other oil of choice) for drizzling
- Sea salt for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C.
- Wash the cabbage and pat dry.
- For regular red or green cabbage, remove any damaged outer leaves and quarter it lengthwise. Trim out the inner core with a single diagonal cut. Turn each quarter onto its side so it doesn’t roll, and slice it into ribbons. You can make them as fine or thick as your want. (My five year old likes thick ribbons, about 3/4 inch wide, my husband likes them very thin, and my two year old and I like them no matter which way they are sliced.)
- For savoy cabbage, peel off the thicker, outer leaves, stack them up in stacks of about 4 leaves, and cut alongside either side of the ribs. Discard the ribs (or feed them to some rabbits), and slice the remaining parts into ribbons. I recommend thin ribbons for the outer leaves of savoy cabbage because it can be tougher than other types. Once you get down to the more tender middle section of the cabbage, treat it as you would a red or regular green cabbage, following step 2 above (i.e. cut it into quarters, slice out the core, and slice it into ribbons).
- Spread the ribbons out on a rimmed baking sheet, large Pyrex dish, or any roasting pan. I usually fit about a ½ cabbage on each sheet pan. But if you want it to be extra crispy, only use about a ¼ cabbage per sheet and make a single layer that will brown more evenly.
- Drizzle the cabbage with olive oil – roughly 3 tablespoons per sheet, though I honestly don’t measure.
- Toss the ribbons around with your hands to distribute the oil.
- Pop it in the oven and roast it for around 20-40 minutes (depending how thin you cut it, how much you put on the pan, and how crispy you like it), stirring every 10 min.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy! (Note that in the pictures below, a thicker version is shown at top and a thinner version at bottom.)