Finally! Remember how in my previous post I was ranting about my failed cabbage experiments and how everything I tried ended up tasting bland? And how I promised to post a cabbage recipe once I developed a perfect one? Well, my dear reader, I’m happy to tell you I managed to develop a super-tasty (and simple!) recipe for Roasted Cabbage with Bacon and Blue Cheese. Doesn’t it sound incredible already? Just wait until you actually taste it; it’s going to blow your mind.
Read more about my experiments below and get some tips on how to prepare this easy dish. And if you’re not a fan of blue cheese, don’t worry: there are some bluecheeseless variations at the end of this post!
Tips for preparing the Roasted Cabbage with Bacon and Blue Cheese
This is a simple recipe that doesn’t call for any special tricks. The hardest part is chopping the cabbage — I got a callous on the root of my index finger after chopping several cabbages when I was developing the recipe and taking the photos and video for this post!
It doesn’t look bad (it’s so tiny!) and it doesn’t hurt too badly; it’s just a bit nasty. And yes, I’m ashamed I managed to bring this on just from cutting cabbage…
But I promised you some tips on how to make this recipe perfect. Since blue cheese and bacon contain both so much salt, there is no need for additional salt in this dish. However, freshly ground black pepper is a must. It just complements the flavors in the most perfect way.
Also, it’s important NOT to overbake the cabbage wedges. They are tastier and the texture is better when they are crisp-tender. This dish is at its best when there is some crunch left in the cabbage.
I admit that there’s plenty of blue cheese used in this recipe. If you aren’t that big a fan of sharp flavors, you can reduce the amount of blue cheese. But personally, I think the almost tasteless cabbage needs a lot of blue cheese, so that’s why I use so much of it here.
If you use really thick sour cream, you’ll end up with a really thick mixture when you add the crumbled blue cheese. You might want to use a knife to smear the mixture on the cabbage wedges. If you use a spoon (like I do in the photos below and in the video), the mixture just gets stuck to the spoon and doesn’t end up on the cabbage wedges themselves.
But now, let’s take a look at how to make this devilishly delish dish:
Take 1 cup (240 ml) raw, chopped bacon…
and fry it…
Then take your head. I mean, your cabbage head.
Remove the outer leaves.
Slice the cabbage head into 12 wedges. (If it’s really a large head, you can slice it into 16 wedges or anything that looks good to you.)
Remove the hard middle part.
Oh yes, don’t forget to preheat the oven…
…and to line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Arrange the cabbage wedges on the baking sheet so that they are not touching each other, like this.
Next, prepare the blue cheese and sour cream mixture. First, spoon the sour cream into a small bowl.
Then add the crumbled blue cheese.
…until well combined.
Spread the blue cheese mixture evenly on the cabbage wedges.
Sprinkle the bacon evenly on top of each cabbage wedge. Press down lightly to help the bacon stick.
Grind some black pepper on top of the cabbage wedges.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cabbage is crisp tender.
Remove from the oven…
My roasted cabbage experiments
You can read about my cabbage experiments in my previous post, where you can find out how I ended up with something completely different. At that time, for some reason, I was obsessed with developing a recipe for tasty roasted cabbage. But I didn’t manage it: Everything I came up with was just blaah and bland.
But first, when I was planning my roasted cabbage experiments, I was pondering how to roast a cabbage so that I could get enough flavor into it. Roasting a whole cabbage would be far too time-consuming, and there was no way to get spices inside the cabbage — unless I were to inject them, which sounded too weird even for me, and I love weird stuff like this. (Wait a minute: the more I think about this, the more it sounds like something I might actually try…!).
Then I thought about cabbage steaks. That sounded overwhelmingly delicious! I’m all about steaks, and roasted cabbage sounded like a light and tasty variation. So, I sliced one large cabbage head into thick slices and placed them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. My first thought was to cover the wedges with melted butter and horseradish, so I did that. I sprinkled some sea salt on top of the steaks before putting them into oven.
Well, the steaks were too thick: it took ages to bake them. Worse, the taste was really bland. Even though I had added quite a bit of horseradish, I couldn’t taste it. Turns out it wasn’t even evenly distributed on the cabbage. Maybe if I added it to the melted butter and then poured it on the cabbage steaks it’d spread more evenly, and I’d get a better flavor?
Somehow I gave up the horseradish idea and thought about the combination of maple and bacon instead. I don’t know why that occurred to me, but it sounded really delicious! (Then again, I think anything with maple and bacon tastes delicious.)
Soon I realized that if I cut the cabbage into wedges, the wedges would bake more evenly than thick steaks, and I could top them with more tasty stuff. This time, I would top them with maple and bacon.
But how to get a sweet maple taste without sugar? I took my favorite sugar-free syrup, Sukrin Gold fiber syrup (Sukrin Gold syrup might contain some gluten, so a completely gluten-free option would be Sukrin Clear fiber syrup). I mixed 1/4 cup (60 ml) syrup with 1/4 cup (60 ml) lukewarm water and added 1 teaspoon maple flavoring.
I brushed the cabbage wedges on both sides with the sweet maple-flavored mixture. Then I baked the wedges for 20 minutes. After that, I turned them over and brushed them with the remaining maple mixture. I also sprinkled crispy cooked, crumbled bacon on top of them. I baked the cabbage for 15 minutes until it was crisp-tender. I was so sure the result would be beyond delicious!
Well, to my huge disappointment, the result was bland – again. I was very, very frustrated. How could the combination of maple and bacon taste so bland? Wasn’t there enough bacon? Obviously not. And that water I added to the syrup must have reduced the flavor as well. But the syrup was too thick to use otherwise — unless I just drizzled it on top of the cabbage, which means that there is no way to add maple flavoring to it.
I was so frustrated I never wanted to see a cabbage again. So I just forgot about everything cabbage-related for a couple of weeks. There was Easter, too, when I made some paskha as it’s very nourishing (I got all the paskha for myself since nobody else in our family likes it! Not that I minded…). And, since I love to make cake experiments, I baked this dark chocolate orange cake with a hint of strawberry, glazed with sugar-free white chocolate glaze and decorated with homemade sugar-free chocolate eggs. A bit avant-garde, I have to admit! Anyway, it was really delicious; our whole family loved it! (I served it with some fresh strawberries on the side). For a couple of years I’ve been planning to start a new blog for more sophisticated recipes: if I ever do that, you will certainly find a recipe for this cake there (photo below).
So, the Easter celebrations were over and I was back concentrating on more everyday recipes. It was time to dig out the notes from my cabbage experiments and start to conduct more research into how to give roasted cabbage enough flavor.
Then it hit me: blue cheese and bacon! That would be a flavorful combination. And this time, let there be enough bacon. Blue cheese definitely has a sharp and piquant flavor; there is no way the cabbage would be bland this time.
However, I couldn’t just top the cabbage wedges with crumbled blue cheese and bacon. That would be too dry. I needed something that would bind the crumbled blue cheese and prevent the cabbage from drying.
I thought sour cream would be the perfect substance for my purposes. Thick, full-fat sour cream would bind the blue cheese and give the dish even more richness. It would also lend a slightly tangy note — which means even more flavor. This time my cabbage wouldn’t be bland: I was absolutely sure!
So, again, I took a large cabbage head and cut it into 12 wedges. I took 4 oz (115 g) Roquefort and crumbled it; then I mixed it with 1/3 cup (80 ml) thick sour cream. I spread this mixture evenly on top of the cabbage wedges which I had arranged into nice rows on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
I had fried 8 slices of bacon. I crumbled the slices and sprinkled them on top of the blue cheese and sour cream mixture. I was planning to add salt and pepper (that was in my notes) but I totally forgot. I just baked the wedges for 30 minutes. I was a bit worried about whether they would be able to bake evenly when I couldn’t turn them over halfway through.
But after 30 minutes, the wedges looked perfect. I noticed I should have gently pressed the bacon into the sour cream mixture: now the bits had slid on the baking sheet. Moreover, I still wasn’t happy with the amount of bacon: I wanted to add some more.
Also, there wasn’t enough sour cream. First of all, the mixture hardly covered all the cabbage wedges. Secondly, there was too much blue cheese compared to the amount of sour cream. And I had forgotten that much-needed black pepper. Well, I thought, my next experiment was going to be perfect!
So, for my next (and final) experiment, I took — again — 1 large cabbage head which I cut into 12 wedges. This time I took 1 cup (240 ml) chopped raw bacon and fried it until crispy. I let the bacon cool while I got on with the other preparations.
Next, I took 4 oz (115 g) blue cheese and mixed it with 2/3 cup (160 ml) sour cream — so I doubled the amount of sour cream from my previous experiment. I had planned to use 1/2 cup (120 ml) sour cream, but it just didn’t look like enough, so I added a bit more, ending up with that 2/3 cup (160 ml).
This time, after baking the cabbage for 25 minutes, I was really happy with my experiment: it was beyond fab! Finally, I got what I was looking for: a super-tasty recipe for roasted cabbage! I bet you will enjoy it, too.
Here is first the video on how to make this delicious roasted cabbage:
And here is the recipe. Enjoy!
|Nutrition information||Protein||Fat||Net carbs||kcal|
|In total:||65.9 g||134.2 g||41.2 g||1636 kcal|
|Per serving if 6 servings (2 cabbage wedges per serving) in total:||11.0 g||22.4 g||6.9 g||273 kcal|
Tips for variation
Bacon and blue cheese, naturally, aren’t the only things you can top your roasted cabbage wedges with. Whatever you use, just remember to go for something with enough flavor. I hope you learned from my mistakes so that you won’t end up with a bland dish!
And that means you can try anything spicy and piquant. Cayenne, chili, or maybe this Sugar-Free Sweet Chili Sauce; it sounds so good that I think I’ll try it out next! If I mix it with sour cream, the sour cream will mellow the piquant taste of chili sauce while adding richness to the dish. And this will also prevent the cabbage wedges from drying while baking. Of course, I would omit the blue cheese if I were using chili sauce. Actually, in that case, the cabbage wedges could be topped with shredded sharp cheese (like Cheddar or Swiss cheese) instead of bacon — or, you could go ahead and add the bacon to make loaded cabbage wedges.
If you don’t have sour cream, you can also try cream cheese. In that case, the mixture of blue cheese and cream cheese will be quite thick, so it’s better to spread it with a knife rather than a spoon.
If you are not a fan of blue cheese but love garlic, you might want to try a mixture of cream cheese and an ample amount of crushed garlic on top of the cabbage wedges. And don’t forget the bacon! So, just smear the cabbage wedges with the mixture of cream cheese and crushed garlic (why not adding some herbs as well? Parsley, thyme, rosemary — anything you happen to have at hand) and top with crumbled bacon. Bake as directed.
Which variation will you make?