I don’t know about you, but for me cabbage is really something special: comfort food, childhood memories, winter, a warm kitchen, grandma… all of these things brought together by just one word: cabbage or better said “varza” – the Romanian word for it.
And I know that this might sound weird for most people, but I love the smell of cooking cabbage filling the house. 🙂 It just reminds me of home, cold winter days and my grandmother cooking some of her best cabbage dishes: the world’s best sarmale, Romanian cabbage rolls and also varza calita, stewed cabbage, a simple dish, mostly vegetarian in her version but even more delicious when made with meat. I make these dishes myself from time to time but it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t play around when cooking and try to make new things with old ingredients.
These cabbage “steaks” are such a new thing, I never had anything similar before, but I just loved it. It combines the very well known with more exciting things like Camembert and maple syrup. And when cooking with cabbage I always add lots of dry savory, I cannot even think of cooking cabbage without it. My aunt sends me small packages of dry savory several times a year, I could buy the German version of it here as well, but I think it is not quite the same things, similar but not quite the same. If you cannot find savory, thyme would make a good substitute.
You will need four slices cut from the middle of the cabbage. Keep the rest in the fridge and use to make a vegetable soup for instance.
A wonderful vegetarian dish, filling and satisfying, perfect for the chilly, long evenings ahead. The recipe is adapted from one found in the Romanian version of Good Food.
- 1 small cabbage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 crisp apple
- 1 teaspoon apple vinegar
- 250 g/ about 9 oz Camembert
- 1 handful walnuts
- dried savory
- some smoked paprika
- about 4 teaspoons maple syrup to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut 4 thick slices (about 2 cm/ 0.8 inch thick) from the middle of the cabbage without removing the stem, which will help to keep the cabbage slices in one piece.
- Pour the 2 tablespoons oil into a small bowl. Brush the cabbage slices with some of the olive oil and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for about 20 or 30 minutes, turning once, or until golden brown and beginning to soften. If the cabbage is not soft enough for you, you can bake it a bit longer, but keep an eye on it, the outer leaves should not get too dark.
- In the meantime remove the apple core and slice the apple thinly. Add the vinegar to the bowl with the remaining oil, mix well and brush the apple slices with this mixture on both sides. Place the apples on the cabbage slices and bake for further 5 minutes.
- In the meantime slice the Camembert into thick slices and roughly chop the walnuts. Divide the Camembert and the walnuts between the cabbage slices, sprinkle everything with savory and smoked paprika. Place in the oven for another 5 minutes or until the Camembert starts to melt.
- Pour about 1 teaspoon of maple syrup on top of each cabbage slice and serve immediately.