Magic Grilled Cabbage with Chickpeas

This has become one of my most asked-for recipes, after I showed how to make it on my Instagram stories – thank you! Since finding this quite magic way with cabbage, I make a version of it almost every week it's in season (which to be fair, is almost all year round here in the UK!).

There are many grilled or baked cabbage recipes out there, but if you do a quick google search you'll see most use halved or large wedges of cabbage, which takes a while to cook. 

My grilled cabbage version was born out of wanting something quick yet nourishing (hmm come to think of it, pretty much all of my recipes are) so, I tried slicing cabbage really thin, drizzle it with olive oil and seasoning and spreading it on an oven tray (the largest metal tray that came with my oven). Blasting it under the grill or in a hot oven, the cabbage cooks really fast – plus it goes though some sort of alchemic change where it suddenly tastes a little like .. bacon? (only much tastier, in my opinion!) Crispy, oily, savoury, slightly charred in places and with an unexpected sweetness.

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Adding a bunch of pre-cooked chickpeas to your cabbage means you end up with a pretty complete meal. Just add carbs, and/or more protein if desired. It's gorgeous fresh from the oven (which is another reason I keep coming back to it), wedged in a tortilla along with some hummus, piled on a bed of rice or noodles or eaten with a piece of steamed fish.

This is a great recipe to make ahead and one I teach at my Bento Meal Prep Workshop. It keeps for a few days and can be added to bentos (lunch boxes), bowls, salads, stir fries and even pasta for a quick weekday meal!

Spices can be varied as you wish, as long as you stick to the basic principles: Slice thin, use olive oil, salt and something acidic (lemon or vinegar) and spread THIN under a hot grill or oven.

Would love to hear of your own personal twists to this recipe!

Sara x

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RECIPE: Magic Grilled Cabbage with Chickpeas

4-6 small portions / bentos, keeps up to 4 days in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS:

400g cabbage (about 1/2 medium head), any kind: red, white, savoy, pointy ..
240g cooked, rinsed chickpeas (=one tin, or use home-cooked)
50g dates (8-10 medium sized like deglet noor), or an apple in bite-sized pieces

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Grated peel of 1 organic lemon or orange
Juice of 1/2 of that same lemon + 1/4 of the lemon cut in small, bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 teaspoon good quality salt + pepper to taste
1 teaspoon coconut sugar (optional)

Spices:
You can either use a couple of teaspoons of Dukkah or Harissa spice mix, or:
1 teaspoon gochugaru (Korean pepper) or a good pinch of dry chili of choice
1 pinch whole fennel and/or cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules (dry garlic powder)

STEPS:

  1. Line an oven tray with baking paper (use a big, open tray rather than a high-edged one) and turn your oven to 225ºC. You can also use your grill on high setting, but you need to watch it closely, not to burn your cabbage.
  2. Thinly cut cabbage, roughly chop dates and pile in the middle of your tray together with the chickpeas.
    1. Pour oil, grate lemon straight onto the pile and add all other seasonings. Mix with your hands to make sure they’re covered all over. Spread everything out as thin and evenly as possible.
  3. Cook for 15 minutes almost at the top of the oven, then move to the very top and cook for another 5 minutes. Every oven is different, so use this as a guide.

Eat right away, or store using the roasting baking paper as a wrap once it's cooled a little: wrap like a fish and chip packet and put in a storage container in the fridge. Using the paper keeps moisture in, you make use of the flavours that have seeped into the paper while cooking, and it makes washing up storage containers a lot easier afterwards.

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