Show of hands: how many of you “hate” cabbage?
Okay, really…I wouldn’t say I hate cabbage. However, cooked cabbage tends to be cooked to the point that it turns my stomach, and raw cabbage seems to be most often served in slaw, of which I am usually not a fan. I don’t really recall my mom cooking cabbage as I was a kid, and most of my experiences with cooked cabbage have been extra-stinky cabbage from the kitchen of the small school where I used to work. I’m probably exaggerating here, but it seems like the entire school reeked of sulfur for the entire day and when we trashed the uneaten leftovers (as we were required by the USDA to do) in our classroom trashcans (we ate in the classroom) the classroom would be overwhelmingly smelly for the rest of the day.
As odd as it may sound, I’ve always liked the idea of cabbage. I can remember (very vaguely) eating a raw cabbage leaf as a kid and thinking it wasn’t half bad. A few years back, a St. Patrick’s Day special about Ireland aired on Food Network and a lady made a cabbage dish with butter and just a tiny bit of water to steam it. Not overcooked, it was delicious, and I have tried ever since to find more ways to fit cabbage into my diet. Fish tacos, vinegary slaws, chicken chow mein with Napa cabbage….the more cabbage dishes I make, the more I like it.
One of my assistants recently accompanied me to the Main Street Farmers Market, where we each purchased a head of cabbage. A few days later, she mentioned that she had turned hers into a creamy cabbage casserole. I knew I had to have the recipe, so she brought it to me. I was not disappointed. Creamy, buttery, slightly cheesy, crunchy, and not overcooked, this casserole was just what I was hoping for. There’s no strong, overpowering taste….no stinkiness to contend with. Just delicious goodness. If you’ve been trying to find a way to make this much maligned vegetable pleasing to the palate…here it is.
Creamy Cabbage Casserole
|Prep time||20 minutes|
|Cook time||30 minutes|
|Total time||50 minutes|
|Meal type||Side Dish|
|From magazine||Southern Living|
- 1 Medium cabbage (coarsely chopped)
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (preferably freshly ground)
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese (grated)
- 1/3 cup panko crumbs (toasted over medium heat in a dry skillet till lightly browned)
|Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the cabbage in a small amount of boiling salted water for ten minutes. Drain well and set aside.|
|Melt three tablespoons of butter over low heat in a large skillet. Add the flour and whisk until smooth then cook for one minute. Gradually add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat until thickened. Whisk in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cabbage and stir until thoroughly combined.|
|Butter a 1 1/2 quart baking dish (mine is an 8x8 Pyrex dish). Spread the cabbage mixture into the dish. Top with the grated cheese then the bread crumbs. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and pour evenly over the bread crumbs. Bake for twenty minutes.|