I am feeling lazy. Quarantine is weighing heavily on me most days, and I feel less excited about being in the kitchen than I ever have. I’ve reverted back to the basics in this time, and then found this new basic to add to my list.
Cabbage is certainly one of those things you will get in a vegetable box and think “what on earth am I meant to do with you?” We have mixed greens for salad, I am too lazy lately to wrap anything in leaves and cook forever, and I’ve already made dumplings. My mind was racing, trying to think what I could do.
Bon Appetit has been a valuable resource for inspiration and entertainment for plenty of us during the continued lockdown, and so I turned there for help. As easy as typing the key word into the search bar, I found myself in front of the ideal simple recipe. Chickpeas. Cabbage. No special kitchen skills required. I was in.
First, you will need to wash your cabbage. Then slice it in half down the middle. Place each half slice-down on your cutting board, and cut into strips vertically (so from the core nub to the top of the cabbage). Parts of it still will be held together by the core and that is okay. Bon Appetit’s recipe calls for coring the cabbage, but I think the extra structure adds some nice flavour.
After this (or before, your choice) dice an onion. In the meantime, prepare a large skillet with some olive oil over medium heat.
Great, it’s so easy so far. Add that diced onion into the pan with 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds. They add such a nice flavour to this dish that you may not expect to be exceedingly flavourful. If you haven’t got mustard seeds then you can sub in an equal amount of caraway seeds, or prepared mustard. Cook this over medium heat until the seeds begin to pop, and the onion is softened some. About 3 minutes.
Drain your can of chickpeas while that is cooking, and once all the liquid is gone and the onions are sufficiently prepared, add the chickpeas into the skillet. I cooked mine a bit, and made sure they were well integrated with the onion and mustard seed mix. Then add in all of your lovely cabbage and about 500mL of water. Season all of this with plenty of salt and pepper.
Bring that water to a boil, and then cover the cabbage mix to cook away until the cabbage is tender. If you leave the cores, this may take a bit longer but overall it should take around 13-15 minutes. Check in on it, give it a stir, add more salt and pepper as you would like, add water if you notice that it may need more. But keep it covered as much as possible in order to get the cabbage nice and soft.
Once it is soft, uncover and cook until the rest of the water is evaporated, about 3 more minutes. If you have white wine vinegar, the Bon Appetit recipe calls for that, but I prefer the softer taste of a cooking white wine. I always try to have a bottle stored away in the fridge to add to recipes. Drizzling 1 tablespoon of the white wine will be enough to add a nice boost. Now, to add spice; I love spice. Crushed red pepper flakes are the perfect addition to something simple like this. Add as much as you like – don’t take it from me ! Just sprinkle a hearty amount over and give this mix another stir.
Season the whole thing with more salt and pepper, and then get ready for some plating technique.
Take a hearty spoonful of Greek yogurt and plop it in the centre of the plate. Add another spoonful if you like yogurt. Then, place the underside of the spoon (not the scoopy side) on top of your yogurt plop and spread it in a circle shape to create a bed for the cabbage mix. (This is all very technical language.) Finally, add your cabbage and chickpeas in the centre of the yogurt, and season with more salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and if you want add some Sriracha.
Now, if you want to take this recipe to the next level you can prepare a poached or fried egg to go over the top. Cook the egg until the yolk is still quite wet, and set that on top of the cabbage mix. And enjoy !
Chickpeas with Savoy Cabbage
- 1 small head of savoy cabbage
- 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 onion, diced
- 500mL water
- 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar, or white wine
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- For serving: Greek yogurt
- Optional: Fried or poached egg
- Dice onion, and slice the cabbage into 1″ thick strips
- Add olive oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Add diced onion and mustard seeds. Cook until seeds pop, around 3 minutes.
- Add chickpeas and cabbage, water, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook until cabbage is tender, around 10-15 minutes. Add water if needed.
- Uncover and cook until most of the water is evaporated, around 3 minutes.
- Add white wine and red pepper flakes to your liking, stirring to mix evenly.
- Put two spoonfuls of Greek yogurt on a plate, and spread. Add cabbage mix over top.
- Serve, optionally with a soft fried egg or poached egg on top. Pairs well with sriracha or Sambal Olek.
What are you making when you’re feeling uninspired? What encourages you in the kitchen? Hope you’re staying well!