*Or: “To every cabbage ingested there is an equal and opposite sausage intake”
Tonight was a weird night from a culinary standpoint. I had just picked up the latest Box of Wonders, and found dandelion greens and kale inside. I am still working through last week’s kale and I had an entire green cabbage staring at me accusingly from the “fresh” drawer in the refrigerator. So many greens. Something had to give. My buddies over at America’s Test Kitchen had a few things to say about cabbage preparation, so I decided to dispatch the cabbage this evening, for better or worse. They had two recipes, one for roasting cabbage and one for grilling it. I looked out the window at the five inches of snow on top of the grill and decided I would try both seasonings, one on each half, and roast it all. Why not.
And while we’re on the subject, if you haven’t checked out America’s Test Kitchen, get there. Watch the show, read the magazine, get the book. Christopher Kimball et al will show you how to not screw up any and every recipe. I actually saw him at my produce market a few months ago and I almost fainted. I was following him at a discrete distance to try and confirm it was him when I saw a woman turn to her husband and start pointing wildly. I ran up to her and squeaked, “It’s him isn’t it?!” She grabbed me by the shoulders and yelled, “It totally is!” And we proceeded to flip out like two 14-year-old girls at a Justin Bieber concert, while her husband and son looked incredulously on and Christopher Kimball walked to the parking lot, none the wiser (Thank goodness. I don’t need a restraining order on my permanent record).
Anyway, back to the cabbage. And to answer the question you were probably asking before we went on the Kimball tangent: No, I wasn’t just lopping the thing in half and chucking both pieces in the oven. I ended up with 16 wedges about 1 inch thick. So eight got salt, pepper, and sugar, and a post-roasting drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The other eight got the vinaigrette that should have been grilled. They both went into the oven at 450 for 25 minutes. They came out looking pretty. I put them all on plates, took them in the living room where the Australian Open was on tv, and ate probably 80% of the cabbage in less than 5 minutes. It tasted okay, I think grilling would have balanced out the acidity of the vinaigrette more than roasting did, but taste had little to do with my land-speed record for consumption of an entire cabbage by one individual. I was just really hungry.
Then about a minute later I noticed that I had eaten an entire cabbage, and I am pretty sure my digestive system, cast-iron though it may be, was sitting around wondering what in the world just happened, and why there was a sudden avalanche of cruciferous vegetable matter to deal with. I was full, but the whole thing was probably worth about 100 calories. And frankly I don’t think my buddies over at America’s Test Kitchen ever meant for me to eat an entire cabbage by myself in one sitting. My Trusty Roommate Chad actually wandered by and asked if I had lost a bet or something.
How to fix this. Sausage. I threw a lovely roasted garlic chicken sausage in a pan, heated it, put it on a plate, and ate it with some coarse mustard. Delicious, and singularly effective in combatting the cabbage overdose. And I would say it feels like I am back in college considering the ridiculous randomness of this aggregate meal, but there is no way I ever would have eaten any cabbage at all, much less an entire one in one sitting, at that point in my life. Frankly I hope I never will again.
CSAs make people do weird things.