This robust side dish is a fabulous accompaniment to meats
1 pound savoy cabbage
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, halved and cut into very thin rings
2 large garlic cloves, minced
6 canned Italian plum tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato liquid from the can, or chicken stock, or beef stock
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
Pecorino Romano for grating
1. Remove the core of the cabbage, and cut the remaining cabbage into 1/4-inch strips. You should have about 4 firmly packed cups of cabbage strips.
2. Place the olive oil in a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the onion rings, and sauté until they start to soften and brown. Add the cabbage and garlic, stirring to blend well. Crush the tomatoes with your hands over the cabbage, and add them to the pan. Add the tomato liquid (or stock), vinegar, and thyme. Season well with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and cook, covered, for 30 minutes, or until cabbage is softened and flavors are blended.
3. When ready to serve, stir butter into the cabbage. Place on plates, and pass pecorino Romano for grating over the dish.
People often think first of Germanic and eastern European traditions when it comes to cabbage. But cabbage is widely used elsewhere. There are many delicious cabbage dishes across Italy, for example, and diners are sometimes surprised to discover that cabbage and tomatoes go extremely well together. This robust side dish is a fabulous accompaniment to meats that have been marinated in a Mediterranean fashion and grilled. We like to use our favorite cooking cabbage for this dish -- savoy cabbage, which, with its pretty curls and lacy patterns, seems lighter, less cabbage-y than ordinary cabbage. Serves 4 as a side dish