In many homes, or backyards to be precise, the grill is “man’s domain.” I get it–there’s something to stand around, other men gather, and it’s primarily a one-handed operation–I can’t help myself. If you happen to have a charcoal grill, that only ups the man quotient. Cavemen made fires–it’s a basic instinct–and there’s the added fun of something to poke. Okay, I’ll stop. But my point is this, ladies it’s time to step up and man the grill.
Unfortunately, I am not a charcoal grill, smoker or green egg expert. I hope one day to get there but have no experience just yet. And I fully understand that to those purists, using a gas grill is cooking not grilling. I accept that but in my world the gas grill is king. It’s quick (heats up in a couple of minutes), easy (just a turn of a dial or two) and requires minimal clean-up (a swift brush at the end). Pretty much anything can be thrown on the grill with a swipe of oil and a sprinkle of seasoning. They key is not to get distracted and keep your eye on the prize–not always easy once you close the lid and step inside to finish up a couple of things.
This summer’s objective is to find new things to throw on the grill. I am confident in my mission because a nice char is a cook’s best friend and you pretty much can’t go wrong. The following recipe was brought to my attention by my lovely neighbor Adele, a fellow foodie and chef extraordinaire. It happens to come from The Kitchn, one of my favorite blogs. Prior to reading the instructions, I hadn’t considered putting cabbage on the grill. But at the same time, I had noticed that while once relegated to summer slaws, I’ve been eating more cabbage throughout the year. Cabbage is versatile, inexpensive and always available. Perfect for experimentation.
Since this Sunday is Father’s Day, let the men in your life kick back with a beer while you throw a steak on the grill with a side of cabbage.* You may think you’re doing them a favor but the guys will realize that you’ve caught on the the allure of the grill. That’s one small step for woman, one giant leap for womankind.
* Added bonus: The sauce for the cabbage would also be delicious on that steak or fish, or pretty much anything else for that matter.
- Juice of 3 limes (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional - leave out for a vegetarian or vegan dish)
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or less if you don't like the heat
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- Lime wedges, to serve
- 1 head green cabbage
- Grapeseed or canola oil
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill. Whiz the lime juice, olive oil, fish sauce, garlic, cilantro, salt, cayenne and sugar in a blender until the sauce is well pulverized. Set aside.
- Remove the loosest, toughest outer leaves from the cabbage, and cut into 8 evenly-sized wedges. Do not remove the stalk or inner core. Lightly brush the wedges with grapeseed or canola oil.
- Place the wedges on the grill and cover. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the edges of each layer are blackened and the cabbage is beginning to soften. Flip each wedge over, cover the grill, and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes on the other side. Remove the cabbage when it is beginning to wilt, but is still firm in the middle. (This will also be somewhat a matter of taste; I prefer it more well-done, you may like it fairly crispy.) If necessary, turn the heat down or move the wedges to a cooler part of the grill so they don't burn. But don't be afraid of those blackened edges; you want a lot of grill and char marks on the cabbage to give it smoky flavor.
- Take the cabbage off the grill and arrange the wedges on a plate. Pour the dressing over top and serve immediate, with wedges of lime to garnish.