This is, legit, a standalone meal if need be. Although I prefer to have it accompany smoked or braised meats, hearty sausages, or even some char-grilled venison if you’re lucky enough. Leaving the potatoes simply boiled offsets the hard char on the cabbage and the dressing freshens the whole piece. Although we think of cabbage as a winter vegetable, the sugarloaf variety maintains its crisp texture and subtle sweetness (enhanced by the charring) into early to mid-spring. I tend not to think in terms of 4 seasons, there is so much crossover and you don’t have to be a chef to know about a late frost in November!
Pro tip: Potatoes are osmatic. They are conduits of salt and flavour. So, if you add flavours to the water in which you boil your spuds, they will take on those flavours. Try it with garlic and rosemary, or bay leaf and black peppercorns. The difference between good spuds and amazing spuds is summed up in one word: salt. The water should be seasoned at 2 to 2.5% salt, depending on your sensitivity. This means, for every litre of water, add 20 to 25 grams of salt. It sounds like a lot, but trust me on this one.
1 Sugarloaf cabbage
Drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt
4 to 5 mid-sized pink-eye potatoes
2 cloves of garlic, a sprig of rosemary (or thyme, or a bay leaf, or all three!)
½ bunch of Italian (flat-leaf) parsley (or ½ cup of picked leaves)
Apx ¼ cup (60-75mls) of Harvest’s shallot dressing (recipe in blog) OR of your favourite salad dressing
1 tbsp of seeded mustard
Cut the cabbage into quarters, through the stem. The stem will ensure each quarter of cabbage maintains some structural integrity. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the sea salt.
Put the potatoes, garlic, and herbs in a pot. Cover with cold water, season and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn down to simmer until tender and cooked. Once cooked set aside in the pan, covered to keep warm
On a chargrill plate (or better yet, a BBQ char-grill) sear the cabbage quarters for 3 to 4 minutes on each face, until charred and al dente. Don’t be afraid of blackening them up pretty heavily!
Finely chop the parsley. Then, in a bowl, mix with the seeded mustard and shallot dressing and set aside (not too early though, or the parsley will go brown!)
Cut the warm cooked potatoes into quarters
On your presentation plate, place the charred cabbage quarters and the potatoes.
Drizzle with the parsley dressing and serve immediately.
Et voila! Absolutely delicious and actually pretty healthy. The best combo!
Rhys Hannan – Chef de Mission @ Harvest Market