This feature recipe makes ordinary cabbage extraordinary. Serve this savory dish and quickly dispel any notion that cabbage is inherently bland or boring. With its zesty Asian flare, this is a nice light dish and a perfect accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken.

Cabbage, which is derived from the leafy wild mustard plant, is an excellent source of vitamins C and K. Its name comes from the Latin word caput or "head." Prolonged cooking of cabbage can create a strong lingering odor, thanks to the plant's sulfur compounds. These same compounds are noted to have potential cancer-fighting properties.

Tossing the cabbage in canola oil before roasting enables it to brown without over-cooking. It also helps bring out the rich, slightly nutty flavor of the vegetable. Canola, a relatively new cooking oil, is produced from canola plants.

Its name is an acronym that was derived in 1978 from Canadian oil low acid. The oil's low acidity and neutral flavor make it perfect for roasting. It is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat, making it a healthy selection.

Finally, the addition of black bean garlic sauce is bound to catch some readers off-guard. This ready-to-use Asian condiment is made from soy sauce, fermented black beans and rice wine. It is becoming increasingly popular in mainstream supermarkets (check the Asian food isle) or can be purchased at a specialty grocer.

Drizzling the cabbage with the bold black bean sauce creates a caramel-colored glaze and savory flavor. Use the remaining sauce in your next stir-fry or brush on a chicken breast before grilling.

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Roasted Cabbage with Black Bean Garlic Sauce

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Yield: Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 medium head Savoy cabbage, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 bunches scallions, finely chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp. seasoned rice wine (or dry cooking sherry may be substituted)
  • 2 Tbsp. black bean garlic sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 4 dashes hot sauce, or to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Steam carrots until tender, 2-3 minutes in microwave. Toss cabbage, steamed carrots and green onions with canola oil in a large roasting pan and spread evenly. Roast until cabbage begins to wilt and brown, approximately 15 minutes.
  3. Combine rice wine with black bean garlic sauce in a small glass bowl. Drizzle over cabbage and carrots and gently toss. Place back in oven and continue to roast until cabbage is tender, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from oven and toss with vinegar, sesame oil and hot sauce.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
110 calories
6 g total fat
<1 g saturated fat
13 g carbohydrates
3 g protein,
5 g dietary fiber
168 mg sodium