Roasted Cabbage with Bacon Gremolata

Roast cabbage topped with a crunchy gremolata of bacon, almonds, and parsley. SO GOOD! Serve as first course or alongside chicken or pot roast. Gluten-free.

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Photography Credit: Emma Christensen

Cabbage doubters, prepare to be seduced.

Here we have thick slices of cabbage roasted until the edges are crispy and golden, and then served with a crunchy, salty, nutty, bacon-y gremolata scattered over top. Plus Parmesan cheese. Helloooo, gorgeous.

This recipe comes from a new cookbook from my friend Andrea Bemis, the farmer and co-owner of Tumbleweed Farm up in Oregon. She lives and breathes vegetables every day, so if anyone knows how to give veggies some serious curb-appeal, it’s her.

Roasted Cabbage with Bacon Gremolata Roasted Cabbage with Bacon GremolataGet the Book! Dishing Up the Dirt: Simple Recipes for Cooking Through the Seasons by Andrea Bemis

Andrea’s enthusiasm for vegetables is absolutely contagious. Her strength in Dishing Up the Dirt — as it is on her blog — is a kind of quiet, but persistent joy when it comes to cooking with produce from her farm.

Cover to cover, the book is packed with stories from the farm, smart tips for shopping and cooking produce, jokes about spirit vegetables (Andrea’s is a beet!), and ideas for turning vegetables into full meals — all of which are offered with the intention of making you feel comfortable with vegetables at the center of the plate.

Andrea also has a way of taking familiar, homey foods and giving them one simple upgrade — something that makes you sit up and think, “Oh, I never thought of that!” Like her Miso & Honey-Glazed Radishes, a combo that surprised me when I first saw it on the page, but that I can’t wait to try for myself. Or her Sweet Corn & Summer Squash Coconut Milk Chowder, which is such a smart way to turn a favorite summer recipe into a vegan dinner.

Roasted Cabbage with Bacon Gremolata Roasted Cabbage with Bacon Gremolata Roasted Cabbage with Bacon GremolataThe recipes tend toward vegetarian, but meat shows up in several of them. And while there are enough salads and veggie bowls to satisfy any healthy eating resolutions you may have, Andrea keeps things grounded with plenty of recipes for hearty pizzas, tacos, and pasta dishes.

The cookbook is arranged seasonally, starting right now with spring. If you enrolled in a CSA this year or are a regular visitor to your local farmers market, then this cookbook will be your guidebook over the next few months!

A few notes about this recipe for Roasted Cabbage with Bacon Gremolata: I’ve adapted Andrea’s instructions slightly to give you a little more detail on prepping the cabbage and bringing the whole dish together, but the spirit and flavors of the recipe are all hers.

Roasted Cabbage with Bacon Gremolata

When shopping for cabbage, pick heads that are tight and feel heavy for their size. Keep your slices fairly thick and don’t worry if a few of the outer layers fall away or unfurl. As long as the cabbage holds together as a slice, you’re golden. (And those unfurled bits will crisp up very nicely in the oven.)

If you cook your bacon or make the gremolata ahead of time, save your bacon fat and use it to oil the cabbage. Olive oil is perfectly fine, but bacon fat would be heavenly.

Also, don’t be intimidated by the idea of the “gremolata.” This is really just a fancy word for what is actually a very quick and flavorful herb-based topping. You probably won’t use all of it for this dish; the leftovers are great sprinkled over other roasted vegetables, chicken, or fish.

Plan to serve the cabbage right away, while it’s still hot and crispy from the oven. It’s fantastic as a first course to a larger meal, or served along side something like roast chicken or pot roast.

Get the Book! Dishing Up the Dirt: Simple Recipes for Cooking Through the Seasons by Andrea Bemis

Roasted Cabbage with Bacon Gremolata Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

From Andrea Bemis:

"This is one of our favorite winter side dishes, and we get rave re­views each time we serve it for company. I've brought back the bacon gremolata yet again because it pairs so nicely with the roasted cabbage. I hope you and your guests find as much joy and pleasure in this simple recipe as we do."

Adapted from Dishing Up the Dirt by Andrea Bemis, copyright © 2017. Published by Harper Wave, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers.

Ingredients

For the cabbage:

  • 1 medium-sized head of cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the bacon gremolata:

  • 3/4 cup roasted unsalted almonds
  • 4 strips (about 1/4 pound) good-quality thick-cut bacon
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • Pinch of kosher salt

To serve:

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method

1 Heat the oven to 400F. Arrange two oven racks in the upper and lower third of the oven.

2 Slice the cabbage: Peel off one or two of the thin, limp outer layers of the cabbage. Trim the stem so that it is flush with the bottom of the cabbage (if it isn't already).

Set the cabbage upright and slice into 1-inch thick slices. Don't worry if a few of the outer layers unfurl or fall away.

Roasted Cabbage with Bacon Gremolata

3 Brush the cabbage slices with olive oil: Use a pastry brush to cover both sides of the cabbage slices with olive oil, or use your fingers to rub the oil in. Season both sides with a little salt and pepper.

Roasted Cabbage with Bacon Gremolata

4 Roast the cabbage: Arrange the cabbage slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast on the lower oven rack for 35 to 45 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through cooking.

When done, both sides should be seared an even golden-brown with crispy edges and the center of the slices should be tender.

Roasted Cabbage with Bacon Gremolata

5 While the cabbage is roasting, prepare the bacon gremolata. If using unroasted almonds, arrange them on another sheet pan and roast in the upper part of the oven for about 10 minutes, until toasted and fragrant. Remove from the oven, cool briefly, then finely chop using a chef's knife (or pulse a few times in a food processor, but be careful not to over process or you'll make almond butter!)

Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until very crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. When cool, roughly chop.

Combine the chopped almonds, chopped bacon, minced parsley, lemon zest, and a pinch of kosher salt in a small mixing bowl. Toss to combine and set aside. (This bacon gremolata can be prepared ahead and kept refrigerated in an airtight container for about a week.)

Roasted Cabbage with Bacon Gremolata

6 To serve: As soon as the cabbage slices are done roasting, transfer to a serving platter or individual plates. Sprinkle with a few spoonfuls of bacon gremolata and grated Parmesan cheese. Serve warm.

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Emma Christensen

Emma Christensen is the managing editor for Simply Recipes, as well as a food writer and homebrewing expert. She was formerly the recipe editor for The Kitchn and is the author of three books on home-brewing, True Brews, Brew Better Beer, and Modern Cider. Emma is a graduate of The Cambridge School for Culinary Arts and Bryn Mawr College. She lives in San Jose, California.

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Roasted Cabbage with Bacon Gremolata

Showing 4 of 9 Comments

  • Liz

    I made this with cabbage AND some fennel as I’ve roasted that combo before. Wonderful with the bacon gremolata!

    I was also inspired to buy the cookbook – hardcover, even! It is beautiful – photos are gorgeous, many recipes I want to try and wonderful stories.

  • Mary

    Has anyone tried this with red cabbage? I have a half head left over from coleslaw recipe.

  • Hanna

    Cabbage deserves to be pampered every now and then. Thanks for this. A shout out to our sisters and brothers in arms at the realfood-project.com

  • Sara @ Last Night's Feast

    Yum! I love the combination of bacon and cabbage.

  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today

    I am very curious about this book.

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