Thu Sep 15, 2016
My mind almost exploded when I saw shelves begin to be lined with Halloween candy and decorations at the end of August—seriously, too soon...it was still damn hot, damn humid, and back-to-school season wasn't even over. Now that we're entering mid-September, I've finally found expectance though, but our current spat of ideal 80 degree days also doesn't have me letting go of summer quite yet. As an ode to this hybrid summer-fall time we have going on, I'm busting out this very fitting recipe for grilled cabbage with chili-lime dressing.
So what makes this a great choice for right now? Well, it begins with a dressing that captures some of the freshness of summer. This starts with a heavy helping on lime juice to serve as a bright, acidic base.
That freshness is accentuated by a copious amount of cilantro. The acidity is then balanced with sugar and honey, while chili powder and crushed red pepper contrast the sweet with some heat, and soy sauce adds a touch of savoriness.
While that dressing feels fitting for a hot summer day, it's destined to be wed with cabbage—a vegetable I equate more heavily with the heartiness of fall. If you haven't tried grilling cabbage before, you're in for a treat, it's quickly become my favorite way to enjoy it.
When wedged and then grilled, cabbage gains a great array of textures and flavors. For one, the edges char and become delicate and brittle. Second. the interior softens just enough to be pleasant to eat, but retains a good crunch. Finally, the overall flavor slants towards nutty, which gives it a great taste—I never thought I would ever exalt the flavor of cabbage, which I used to only think of as being bland and unappealing.
And a good thing gets even better when the dressing is introduced. Now this crunchy grilled cabbage gains that touch of freshness that melds autumn and summer in a truly excellent way. The earthy spice feels at home with the cabbage, while the brightness and freshness challenges its nature in a way that works very well. It's a great way to say I'm ready for fall, but not done with summer quite yet.
Grilled Cabbage with Chili-lime Dressing
- Prep Time:
- 15 Minutes
- Cook Time:
- 10 Minutes
- Total Time:
- 25 Minutes
- 4 to 6 servings
- For the Dressing
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium head of green cabbage, cut into 6 wedges with the core left intact
- To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, oil, cilantro, honey, brown sugar, chili powder, crushed red pepper, and soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place cabbage wedges on hot side of grill and cook, covered, until well charred on first side, about 2 minutes. Flip cabbage, cover, and cook until charred on second side, another 2 minutes. Flip wedges to third side, cover, and cook until well charred, another 2 minutes. Transfer cabbage to cooler side of grill, cover, and continue cooking until mostly tender but still crunchy in center, about 4 minutes longer.
- Transfer cabbage to a serving platter, drizzle with dressing, and serve immediately.