Charred Red Cabbage with Spiced Tomato Relish

Source: Gregory Gourdet, BLACK FOOD (edited by Bryant Terry)

Recipe Type: | Seasons: , ,

Like all chefs, I am obsessed with super seasonal produce. However, the demands of everyday life sometimes call for the ease and comfort of dishes that can be made year-round with just a few pantry ingredients—that still deliver big flavor. Sun-dried tomatoes have tons of umami, and for this relish, I flavor them with Haitian and Caribbean spices of Scotch bonnet, pepper, ginger, and thyme. Charring them first is a great way to create more taste and texture. Honey is the preferred sweetener, but it can be made vegan by swapping out the honey for sugar.

This recipe was reprinted with permission from BLACK FOOD: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora edited by Bryant Terry, copyright © 2021. Published by 4 Color Books, an imprint of Ten Speed Press and Penguin Random House. Photographs copyright © 2021 Oriana Koren.

Makes 4 to 6 servings


Tomato Relish

2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
15 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 large Scotch bonnet chile, stemmed and minced with seeds
2 large shallots, cut into 1⁄8 inch dice
2 tablespoons peeled and finely chopped ginger
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
1 tablespoon picked thyme leaves
Zest of 1 lime, thinly grated

2 pounds red cabbage (about 1 small head), blemished outer leaves removed
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Small handful of parsley leaves for garnish


To make the relish: Combine the tomatoes, oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, chile, shallots, and ginger in a medium heavy skillet. Set the skillet over medium heat and give it a stir. Wait until the oil gets hot and the aromatics start giving off liquid, causing the mixture to bubble rapidly. Stirring frequently now, cook until the ingredients have softened and browned a bit at the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the tamari, honey, and thyme and reduce the heat to gently sim­mer until the liquid is gone and everything is golden brown, shriveled, and a little chewy, about 5 minutes more. Turn off the heat and stir in the lime zest.

To make the dish: Adjust the oven rack to the top position and preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut the cabbage through the core into twelve wedges (about 1½ inches thick), so the layers in each wedge remain intact. Evenly drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil onto a large sheet pan, then arrange the wedges flat on the pan in a single layer. Evenly sprinkle on the salt and drizzle on the remaining oil.

Roast the cabbage on the top rack until the white parts have turned purple, the leaves look soft and supple, and the wedges turn brown at the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove the cabbage, preheat the broiler, then broil the cabbage on the top rack until the edges are black and crispy and the insides are tender with a slight bite, about 5 minutes. Use a spat­ula to flip each piece, then broil again for 5 minutes more to char the other sides.

To serve: Transfer to a serving platter, spoon on the relish, and serve hot or warm. Sprinkle on the parsley just before serving.

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