If one wants evidence that cooking is an alchemical process, one need look no further than this rich, savory puddle of a gratin that once was a head of savoy cabbage.
Savoy is the frilly, ruffled member of the cabbage family. Its leaves are more tender than green or red cabbage, and its flavor is milder and more delicate.
This savoy cabbage gratin comes from Molly Stevens’s wonderful book All About Braising. If you’re looking for simple warm comforting winter meals, this book is a great source for them. This recipe, in particular, is a standout.
It has only five ingredients: savoy cabbage, scallions, stock (chicken or vegetable), butter, and a nice creamy French cheese like Saint Marcellin, Saint Andre, or Delice de Bourgogne. And it only takes about 15 minutes of active work. The oven does the rest. And what emerges is a meltingly tender, rich, savory gratin that tastes so delicious, that, as Dan said, “it’s hard to believe it’s cabbage.”
It doesn’t look like much, but the brothy puddle at the bottom of the pan is so good you’ll want to sop it up with crusty bread. It’s as warming and comforting to me as a pan of macaroni and cheese, but it’s mostly vegetables.
This is, I think, the sort of dish that could make cabbage skeptics reconsider. It’s the kind of dish I want all winter long.
Savoy Cabbage Gratin with Delice de Bourgogne
- 1 inch medium head of savoy cabbage cored, quartered, and sliced into 1/2- strips
- 1 inch bunch scallions both white and green parts, trimmed and cut into 1/2- pieces
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 ounces Delice de Bourgogne Saint Marcellin, Saint Andre or any flavorful triple cream style cheese, rind removed and torn or sliced into 1/2-inch chunks
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the butter, scallions, and cabbage and a generous pinch of salt. The cabbage will cook down quite a bit–if it doesn’t all fit at first, let some of it cook down and add the rest when there is room. Saute, stirring frequently, until the cabbage is tender and beginning to brown in spots, about 10-12 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a boil, and cook for an additional 2 minutes or so. Remove from the heat, cover with a tight fitting lid or aluminum foil, and transfer to the oven.
- Cook for 45 minutes. Remove the cover, and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Turn the oven up to 375°F, scatter the cheese over the top of the cabbage, and cook, uncovered, until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
- Serve warm, in bowls, as a side or main.