Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spicy Sautéed Cabbage with Chickpeas and Parmesan

Before I say anything else, I need to apologize for the general horridness of these pictures.  And the fact that there are only three in the entire post.  You see, cabbage really isn't the prettiest thing to be snapping photos of.  Most especially when I haven't even seen natural day light since I've been back from Arizona (sighhh...) and the light in my kitchen isn't even bright enough to scoop my oatmeal out of the pot in the morning.  But I'm not going to be too hard on myself because even the official Bon Appetit picture doesn't look all that appetizing.  And they're professionals.  The fact of the matter is, cabbage just isn't sexy.  And if cabbage is ok with that, then really who are we to try to make it something it isn't?

This was the side to our Valentine's day steak dinner.  Again, cabbage doesn't really fall into the sexy, romantic category, but luckily Ben will eat anything I put in front of his face and doesn't get too annoyed when my reasoning boils down to: "I picked this recipe because then I can blog about it!"  He's pretty cool that way.  He even ate a full serving.

Now, I am a cabbage fan and a recent initiate into the "woohoo! Chickpeas!" club, so my outcome was always going to be a little bias.  But I liked this, although the cabbage didn't crisp up as much as I was thinking it would.  That may have been my faulty assumption or the fact that there was a lot of cabbage in the pan.  Also, It didn't have enough heat for me and I did a heaping quarter teaspoon of the red pepper flakes.  And it makes a lot.  A lot, a lot.  Normally not a big deal, except, as leftovers, it is less than stellar. I have been gussying it up with random combinations of extra Parmesan, fried eggs, sunflower seeds and/or sriracha.  On the first go round, right out of the pan, I was a fan.  Ben was ok with it, and when forced on the issue said he would be fine with eating it again, but would never request it or be particularly excited about it.  And I'm ok with that, because after 3 servings of leftovers, I so understand where he is coming from.  Eventually I want to try it again and work out the few kinks, but only when I have some left over cabbage to rid myself of or something.

So, the moral of the story is, if you randomly have an extra head of cabbage rolling around your produce drawer, this isn't a bad use for it at all.  Just only make as much as you're going to eat and avoid leftovers...

Spicy Sautéed Cabbage with Chickpeas and Parmesan
From Bon Appetit Online, February 2012

I'm giving you the proportions from Bon Appetit, but as referenced above, I would figure out how much you are going to eat and adjust accordingly.

1 head of cabbage, shredded, about 6 cups
2  Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, for seasoning
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 15-oz can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 lemon

Toppings:  (BA suggests only Parmesan, any sort of combination of these would be tasty)
Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
Sunflower Seeds
Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Fried Egg

In very large skillet, or wok, over medium heat, heat oil.  Add cabbage, season with salt and cook.  Stir occasionally, just as needed, until cabbage becomes "crisp-tender", about 8 minutes.  Don't stir too frequently, you want the cabbage to get some color from caramelizing in the pan.  Add garlic and toss, cook a minute longer.  Season with salt.  Add well rinsed chickpeas and 2 tablespoons of water, season with salt, and toss, cooking until water is absorbed and chickpeas are heated through, about 2-3 more minutes.  Season with pepper, red pepper flakes and additional salt if needed, toss and let warm through again 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat, squeeze lemon juice all over and finish with whatever combination of toppings is speaking to you.

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