Besides adding smoke flavor, grilling cabbage brings out the vegetable's natural sweetness. The result makes for an easy accompaniment to grilled meats, particularly pork. Or it can be the basis for a twist on your favorite coleslaw recipe. Use 1 cup for a single serving of the Grilled Cabbage and Udon Slaw (see related recipe).
You'll need a grill basket.
Make Ahead: The cabbage can be grilled, cooled and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Servings: 6 cups
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to prepare the grill basket
- 1 medium green or red cabbage (about 2 1/2 pounds)
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees) and add soaked wood chips in a foil packet or in a smoker box. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them under the cooking area for direct heat. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 4 or 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.
Lightly coat the grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.
Cut the cabbage in half. Cut each half into 1-inch-thick slabs, leaving the core intact. Brush both sides of each slab with the oil and sprinkle generously with salt, placing the slabs in a grill basket as you work.
Grill the cabbage slabs until they are charred in spots on the outside and starting to wilt (but are not soft) on the inside, about 10 minutes per side. (If some of the leaves come loose and start to burn, use tongs to pull them off and transfer them to a plate while you cook the remaining cabbage. If you're doing this on a full-size grill, the cooking time might be reduced.)
Transfer the cooked slabs to a cutting board; cut out and discard the core. Cut the grilled leaves into thin slices.
If serving as a side dish, season with salt and pepper to taste.
From Joe Yonan, author of "Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One" (Ten Speed Press, 2011).
Tested by Joe Yonan and Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.