Charred Red Cabbage with Spiced Tomato Relish

Gregory Gourdet takes red cabbage and makes it into your next go-to side dish with his Charred Red Cabbage recipe. This dish elevates red cabbage from a “sometimes ingredient” to a full-fledged powerhouse. By charring the wedges, he unlocks a world of smoky goodness, creating a caramelized edge that’s both visually stunning and undeniably delicious. But, be sure not to forget the homemade Spiced Tomato Relish. Ditch the bland, store-bought options and embrace juicy tomatoes combined with aromatic spices and a touch of sweetness. This is a side dish that’ll leave you wondering why you ever bought store bought relish in the first place.

What Defines a Relish?

You might think you know relish but this condiment goes beyond just chopped vegetables. Relish is defined by its finely chopped or diced texture, offering a chunky yet spreadable element that adds pops of texture to any dish. It may sound like a salad but these vegetables in a relish are often pickled in a vinegar or brine. The pickling process not only extends their shelf life but also infuses them with a tangy and sometimes sweet flavor profile. Some relishes might even have a spicy profile added to the tanginess for further versatility like our Spiced Tomato Relish below.

Charred Red Cabbage with Spiced Tomato Relish Recipe

Charred Red Cabbage Ingredients

Makes 4-6 servings

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

For the Spiced Tomato Relish: 

  • 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp 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 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp honey or brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp picked thyme leaves
  • Zest of 1 lime, thinly grated

Red Cabbage Preparation Instructions

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the top position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cut the cabbage through the core into 12 wedges (about 1 ½-inch thick), so the layers in each wedge remain intact.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Remove the cabbage, preheat the oven to 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.
  6. Use a spatula to flip each piece, then broil again for 5 minutes more to char the other sides.
  7. Transfer to a serving platter, spoon on the relish, and serve hot or warm. Sprinkle on the parsley just before serving.

For the Spiced Tomato Relish:

  1. 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.
  2. Stirring frequently now, cook until the ingredients have softened and browned a bit at the edges, 8-10 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, shrivelled, and a little chewy, about 5 minutes more.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in the lime zest.

Reprinted with permission from Black Food edited by Bryant Terry, copyright © 2021. Published by 4 Color Books, an imprint of Ten Speed Press.

Recipe by Gregory Gourdet / Styling by Julia Platt Leonard / Food Prepared by Juicy Foods 505 / Photography by Tira Howard

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