This week I have not one but two special treats for you.
The first is a simple idea. But one it’s taken me a while to cotton on to. Sometimes I’m a slow learner.
We’re talking one of my favourite vegetables, cabbage. And we’re talking one of my favourite cooking techniques, the fast roast.
To cut a long story short, we’re talking match made in heaven.
Even if you think you’re not a fan of cabbage, I really encourage you to try it. Seriously, cabbage cooked like this is the business.
The second idea probably won’t need as much convincing because, yes, there’s bacon. (Although if you’re vegetarian, like my friend Dominica, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Just skip down to the variations below).
Gremolata is usually an Italian topping of parsley, garlic and lemon zest used to add freshness to slow cooked dishes. This bacon and almond version takes the idea to a whole new level and has a million and one uses.
My favourite is to use it on simply cooked veggies like this cabbage but it’s also fab to add crunch to soups or as a salsa to serve with cooked chicken. It’s also a brilliant way to jazz up poached or fried eggs for a super tasty brunch.
It’s so, so good!
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Roast Cabbage with Crunchy Bacon Gremolata
Inspired by the lovely Andrea Bemis from my favourite vegetable-loving blog Dishing Up the Dirt.
We’ve had this for breakfast and dinner on different days and it’s great at any time of day. I’ve also made it with white and red cabbage and have a slight preference for red because it looks prettier.
enough for: 2
takes: 40 minutes
1/2 medium red cabbage
4 slices bacon
2 handfuls roasted almonds
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
zest 1 small lemon
1. Preheat your oven to 250C (480F). Slice cabbage into 4-5 slices each about 2cm (3/4in) thick. Place sliced on a baking tray. Drizzle generously with olive oil or duck fat.
2. Roast cabbage for about 15 minutes. Turn and keep cooking for another 10-15 minutes or until cabbage is crispy around the edges and no longer crunchy in the middle.
3. While the cabbage is roasting cook bacon in a frying pan on a medium high heat until well browned and crispy. Cool for a few minutes.
4. When the bacon isn’t too hot chop coarsley. Chop almonds and parsley (stalks and all) and combine with the bacon along with the lemon zest.
5. Divide cabbage between 2 plates and top with bacon gremolata.
more substantial – serve with poached or fried eggs or as a side to roast or pan fried chicken or fish. A dollop of home made mayo is also lovely.
carb-lovers – Toss in some cooked pasta, serve with crusty bread and butter or pile everything on a slice of well buttered sourdough toast.
vegetarian – make an almond gremolata by doubling the almonds, skipping the bacon and adding a small clove of finely chopped garlic. If you have smoked almonds even better.
pescetarian – replace bacon with a drained can of tuna in chilli oil.
budget – use chunky sour dough bread crumbs instead of the almonds (or substitute some).
different veg – brussels sprouts are an obvious choice and won’t need as long in the oven. Also brilliant with regular broccoli, broccolini or cauliflower – just adjust roasting time as needed. The gremolata is also great on cooked greens like spinach, chard or kale.