Charred Cabbage with Buttermilk Feta Dressing and Toasted Hazelnuts

I love a good knife and fork salad, and this charred cabbage with buttermilk feta dressing and toasted hazelnuts exceeds all my wintery salad dreams. It’s both fresh and hearty, making it seasonally appropriate but also a wonderful way to break up the richness of whatever stew or roast meat you serve it with. 

Recipe Notes

  • This is a “use your senses” kind of recipe, meaning I don’t give time estimates, but more visual cues you should look for to know when your cabbage is done. Trust yourself! 
  • I like to keep seasoned rice vinegar on hand for quick pickling vegetables. Traditionally, seasoned rice vinegar is used for making sushi rice, but it’s essentially just a mix of vinegar, sugar, salt, and water–aka a basic pickle brine. If you don’t have seasoned rice vinegar, just mix together about 3 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp water, 1 tbsp sugar, and a generous pinch of salt. 


Charred Cabbage with Buttermilk Feta Dressing and Toasted Hazelnuts

Course: SaladsDifficulty: Easy
Servings

3-4

servings
Total time

20

minutes

I love a good knife and fork salad, and this charred cabbage with buttermilk feta dressing and toasted hazelnuts exceeds all my wintery salad dreams. It’s both fresh and hearty, making it seasonally appropriate but also a wonderful way to break up the richness of whatever stew or roast meat you serve it with. 

Ingredients

  • For the buttermilk feta dressing
  • 1 oz feta cheese (preferably french block style)

  • 3.5 tbsp buttermilk

  • 1.5 tbsp mayonnaise

  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon (or more to taste)

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

  • ½ tbsp chopped dill or chives

  • Lots of freshly ground black pepper

  • Salt to taste

  • For the salad
  • 1 pound green cabbage (about ¾ of a small head)

  • ¼ cup hazelnuts, rough chopped

  • 3-4 radishes, thinly sliced

  • A couple of tablespoons of seasoned rice vinegar (or about 3 tbsp rice vinegar mixed with 2 tbsp water, 1 tbsp sugar, and a generous pinch of salt)

  • High heat oil, like grapeseed or canola

  • Torn herbs, like dill or parsley, for garnish.

Directions

  • In a small food processor, quickly blend together the buttermilk, feta, mayonnaise, lemon juice and zest, and mustard. Stir in the herbs and season generously freshly ground pepper. Taste and add salt as needed. If needed, adjust the levels of buttermilk, mayonnaise, and lemon juice to your liking.
  • Place the sliced radishes in a small bowl and cover with seasoned rice vinegar (or the mixture of water, sugar, rice vinegar, and salt). Set aside.
  • Add the hazelnuts to a small pan and turn the heat to medium. Toast, stirring and shaking regularly, until the hazelnuts start to brown and you get a lovely nutty aroma. They can burn very quickly, so be careful.
  • Slice the cabbage into thin wedges. Do not remove the core as this will help to keep the slices together.
  • Heat a very large pan over high heat (preferably cast iron, carbon steel, or stainless steel. You may need to use two pans if your cabbage slices won’t fit in one). When the pan is hot, add a generous amount of oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the cabbage, making sure no slices overlap, and season with salt and pepper. Cook on one side until the cabbage is bright green and the bottoms are light-medium charred. You may need to adjust the heat as you go and add more oil if things start to look too dry. Flip the cabbage, season again with salt and pepper, and cook on the other side until charred. Some of the cabbage will start to fall apart, and that’s OK.
  • Your cabbage is done when it’s bright green and tender with areas of char (some areas will be darker than others).
  • To plate, pile any loose pieces of cabbage on the bottom of a serving platter and top with the slices that are still intact. Taste a loose piece of cabbage and add more salt or pepper if desired. Top with the toasted hazelnuts, radishes, and a handful of fresh herbs. Drizzle on the dressing to your liking. Serve with a knife and fork.

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