Humble cabbage becomes something special when cooked with a bit of butter or oil until just tender.
Cabbage is often hidden. Cooked to death in a soup or drowned in sauce or slathered with dressing. Here, this humble head of compact leaves is allowed to be itself, gently cooked with a bit of butter until just tender. Simple, easy, and utterly satisfying. Divine with a few lamb chops or a shepherd’s pie or a seared steak or a rotisserie chicken. Or, keep things traditional and offer a few sausages and potatoes alongside. Find inspiration for endless variations at the end of the recipe—this simple technique easily morphs into a whole range of different flavors. Best of all, this gentle but not-too-long cooking method keeps the cabbage from getting stinky.
- 1 small head savoy cabbage or green cabbage
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Remove and discard any bruised or wilted leaves on the outside of the cabbage. Cut it into quarters and cut out the core from each (or cut out the core and then quarter). Discard the core or slice it very thinly and cook it with the cabbage.
- Melt the butter in a wide sauté or braising pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add the cabbage and sprinkle in the salt. Stir to coat the cabbage evenly with the butter, pour in 1/4 cup of water, cover, and reduce the heat to low-medium. Cook undisturbed for 5 minutes, stir, cover again, and cook for 5 more minutes, adjusting the heat to keep the liquid steaming but the cabbage not browning or sticking too much. Add 1 tablespoon or so of water if the cabbage starts to stick to the pan. Cook until the cabbage is tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes total. Serve hot or warm.