Monday, March 21, 2011

Charred Carrots and Cabbage with Muddled Dressing

If cabbage had feelings it would be really insecure. In the world of vegetables cabbage is the equivalent to the boy who gets picked last for the soccer team, the girl who doesn't get asked to prom and so on. Fast forward 10 years the boy owns some ridiculous fortune 500 company and the  lanky girl with braces is Queen of the catwalk.... this is what cabbage is when it's cooked properly. It moves out of the shadows and has character, depth, style. It's literally transformed from something primarily julienned in coleslaw's to a shining side dish!

I cooked the carrots and cabbage in the same way. They were drizzled with oil, salt, pepper and cumin and broiled on high for 10-15 minutes until they crisped and charred perfectly. Because both veggies taste quite earthy I brightened everything up with a muddled vinaigrette of mint, parsley, cilantro, garlic, chili and lemon... to die for! I also made a whole branzino fillet that I bathed in this dressing. Everything went together so harmoniously.. amazing!

4 carrots
1 small cabbage or 1/2 of a large cabbage
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Set broiler on high. Wash the carrots and  cabbage. Cut the stem off the carrot and slice in half lengthwise. Don't peel the skin as it charrs better with it on. Reserve.
Cut the cabbage  1 inch thick lengthwise and keep the stalk on so it will hold the leaves together. Cover a baking sheet with tin foil and drizzle the veggies wtih oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper an cumin seeds. You will probably need to do this in batches. Lay the cabbage so it doesn't overlap. Place under the broiler  and cook for about ten minutes or until it charrs nicely. Remove and do the same with the carrots. Top with sauce.

Sauce Ingredients:

1/2 cup parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup mint
1/2 teaspoon grated or pounded garlic
1 green chili thinly sliced (less or none if you intolerant to heat)
1 lemon juiced
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Sauce method:
In a mortar and pestle pound the garlic until it has a paste-like consistency. If you don't have a mortar and pestle use a micro plane, grater or knife. Rinse herbs and pound  with the garlic in the mortar and pestle for about 1 minute. You still want some chunks of herb but the idea is to release it's natural flavours and oils. You want it to look like the mint in your mojito. Again, if you don't have a mortar and pestle use your knife and roughly chop. Add lemon juice, chili, olive oil and salt. It's best to let it sit for 5 minutes or so.

* Tip: you can make it with just one herb or different combinations of herbs so long as it's a cup.

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