Discovering new tastes is a benefit of traveling. It happens to me every time. I think it is from being in a different place and exposed to food and recipes from other cooks and restaurants. It was on one of my trips to Germany almost 10 years ago when I discovered I actually did like sauerkraut. Something about it there simply flipped a switch in my taste buds and I’ve enjoyed it ever since. This time it was red cabbage. I had it twice on my trip and I’m ready to have more. However, a recipe for traditional German braised red cabbage is yet to come. For now I was inspired to make Grilled Red Cabbage with Lime Sour Cream Dressing.
Grilling happens year round here in Magnolialand. I’m fortunate to be in an area where it rarely gets too cold to fire up the grill. I’ll break out my trusty grill pan when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate and decides to rain. There are still a few things I haven’t grilled yet. One is pizza and I can’t seem to figure out why. Another one until this week was cabbage. It won’t be the last time either. My husband walked in and said “Grilled Cabbage? It smells good” and oh does it ever smell good. It’s quite pretty and very tasty too. The smoky flavor from the grill does such wonders to simple cabbage and brings out a natural sweetness.
About the lime sour cream dressing. It is the perfect balance of spice and tart to go with grilled cabbage. Warm spices of cumin and paprika plus the tartness of lime are mixed with cooling sour cream. Make it a day or two in advance for best results. Let the flavors combine nicely while chilling in the fridge. Next time I’ll make a double batch just to have extra for other salads.
What new flavors have you discovered while traveling? Another one of my German discoveries is Celeriac Salad. There have been many more and they are in the line-up to share at some point in time. So, as always, stay tuned…
Grilled Red Cabbage with Lime Sour Cream Dressing
For the grilled red cabbage:
- 1 head red cabbage
- 1 to 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
For the lime sour cream dressing:
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red cayenne pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons half-and-half plus more if needed
For the grilled red cabbage:
Heat an outdoor grill or cast-iron grill pan to medium-high heat.
Remove and discard outer cabbage leaves. Cut cabbage into 6 or 8 equal sized wedges. Do not cut out the core (it's what holds the wedges together while grilling). Brush wedges with oil and season with salt and pepper.
When grill is heated or pan begins to smoke, add cabbage wedges cut-side down. Cook cabbage until it begins to brown and soften, approximately 6 minutes per side. Close the lid while grilling if using an outdoor grill.
The cabbage will be crunchy on the inside. If you prefer softer cabbage, turn heat down, cover, and cook until desired tenderness. Serve with lime sour cream dressing.
For the Lime sour cream dressing:
Stir together sour cream lime zest, lime juice, salt, paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Add half-and-half 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
The dressing is best made 1 or 2 days in advance and kept chilled in a sealed container.
A recipe for Grilled Red Cabbage with Lime Sour Cream Dressing. Grilling brings out the sweetness of red cabbage and is complimented with a tart cooling dressing.
Recipe adapted from in Southern Cast Iron 2014 Special Collector’s Issue