This smothered cabbage recipe, with tomato gravy, makes a thrifty meal

Charred Cabbage Smothered in Tomato Gravy Over Grits

Whole time:40 min

Servings:4 to six

Whole time:40 min

Servings:4 to six


Just a few weeks in the past, I wrote a couple of cabbage salad that I wish to make, and it was enjoyable studying the suggestions to it. A lot of the response was fairly constructive, however human nature being what it’s, I need to speak about one which was … much less so. It wasn’t damaging, actually, nevertheless it was pointedly crucial.

The e-mail didn’t take situation with the recipe itself, however the author mentioned that they’d by no means make the salad due to one thing that they see in quite a lot of recipes. It referred to as for a portion of a head of inexperienced cabbage and a portion of a head of purple cabbage.

The purpose was succinct: What am I presupposed to do with the remainder of this cabbage?

Meals waste is a matter that’s all the time on the entrance of my thoughts. I’ve written so much about farmers, and I think about it an ethical failing when I’ve to toss one thing that went dangerous on my watch. And meals insecurity is a parallel situation which means so much to me. So the e-mail resonated.

However, actually, that’s one of many causes I wish to all the time have some cabbage in my crisper. I’ve discovered that it has a fairly forgiving margin for error so far as its life span.

Earlier than I get too deep into my private practices, I poked round to search for an official guideline on how lengthy minimize greens are anticipated to final within the fridge. I didn’t actually discover one.

The FDA has a common rule that claims leftovers will be safely stored for 4 days. When it gets into specifics, it doesn’t deal with recent produce, however largely meat, dairy and processed meals. Numerous websites I discovered steered that minimize cabbage will be saved anyplace from two days to a number of weeks. Which didn’t really feel like a solution, both.

Complete cabbage is a chilly storage crop, that means that any head you purchase on the grocery retailer was most likely harvested weeks, if not months, earlier. How briskly is it prone to deteriorate as soon as it will get minimize?

I talked to Rachael Jackson, founding father of and a Washington Submit contributor on meals questions of safety, who mentioned she was unaware of any official tips. She mentioned that after you narrow into any vegetable, it turns into extra prone to spoilage, and that any variety of variables (moisture ranges, temperature, the way it was minimize) can affect the velocity at which that occurs.

So the place does that depart us?

Right here’s my technique: While you convey house a recent cabbage, use it for any uncooked preparations first. Wrap it and preserve it within the fridge, and if you wish to use it uncooked once more, do it inside the subsequent few days. After that, use it solely in cooked purposes to kill something problematic that may have grown within the interim. (Consultants say leftovers ought to attain a temperature of 165 levels or come to a rolling boil.) For those who discover that it’s slimy, smelly or soggy — in different phrases, in any means unappetizing — pitch it (or, ideally, compost it).

Once I bought that reader e-mail, I had already been considering of a dish of tomato gravy over grits, and was considering methods to make it extra substantial with out the bacon fats that may historically be the bottom. That’s once I noticed the leftover cabbage in my crisper and realized I might clear up two issues directly by smothering the cabbage in a tomato gravy flavored with a tablespoon of smoked paprika.

Then I added cabbage to my procuring checklist, as a result of I used to be out.

Charred Cabbage Smothered in Tomato Gravy Over Grits

Be at liberty so as to add extra cabbage to smother within the gravy; the recipe will accommodate as a lot as double with out growing the quantity of tomato. It’s a good way to make use of up further cabbage and lengthen the dish to extra servings.

Storage: Refrigerate the cabbage for as much as 4 days. The grits are greatest the day they’re made however will be refrigerated for as much as 4 days. In the event that they’re too stiff when reheated, add a splash or water or broth.

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  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup grits (not quick-cooking or immediate)
  • 1 teaspoon tremendous salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound inexperienced cabbage (½ medium head), thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small purple or yellow onion (4 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • One (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup no-salt-added vegetable broth, store-bought or selfmade
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, dairy or vegan
  • Freshly floor black pepper

In a medium pot over excessive warmth, convey the water to a boil. Slowly add the grits, then ½ teaspoon of the salt, and stir. Let the water return to a boil, then scale back the warmth to medium-low. Partially cowl and prepare dinner, stirring steadily and scraping the underside of the pot to forestall sticking, till thick and tender, 25 to half-hour.

In the meantime, in a big skillet over medium-high warmth, warmth the oil till it shimmers and simply begins to smoke. Add the cabbage, prepare it in a good layer and prepare dinner with out transferring it till it begins to char, 2 to three minutes. Stir and let extra of the cabbage char, one other 2 to three minutes. There needs to be blackened spots. Add the vinegar and toss to coat. Switch about 1 cup of the cabbage to a plate and reserve. Push the remainder of the cabbage to 1 aspect of the pan.

Add the onion and prepare dinner, stirring, till softened, about 3 minutes. Stir within the garlic, and prepare dinner till fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, paprika, broth and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and stir to mix. Convey to a boil, then scale back the warmth so the combination is at a simmer and prepare dinner till chunky and soupy, 15 to twenty minutes.

Stir within the butter to include.

Divide the grits amongst huge, shallow bowls, forming a nicely within the center. Fill every nicely with the tomato gravy, then prime every portion with among the reserved cabbage. Season with pepper and serve sizzling.

Per serving (¾ cup grits, a scant 1 cup tomato gravy), based mostly on 6

Energy: 230; Whole Fats: 7 g; Saturated Fats: 3 g; Ldl cholesterol: 10 mg; Sodium: 617 mg; Carbohydrates: 39 g; Dietary Fiber: 6 g; Sugar: 10 g; Protein: 6 g

This evaluation is an estimate based mostly on out there elements and this preparation. It mustn’t substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s recommendation.

From workers author Jim Webster.

Examined by Jim Webster; e-mail inquiries to [email protected].

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