Melting Cabbage

Raw cabbage is often the star of coleslaw, but when slow-cooked in a tomato-y white wine sauce, this vegetable is transformed into something else entirely—it's melt-in-your-mouth delicious! A bit of Parmesan rind adds umami to the sauce (it's a classic Italian trick). Serve this quick one-skillet recipe as a side dish or the main event.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 small head fennel (about 8 ounces), thinly sliced, fronds reserved for serving

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 small head green cabbage (about 2 pounds), quartered

1 1/4 cups dry white wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus a 1-ounce piece of rind

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennels is softened and just starting to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, until just fragrant, about 1 minute.  
  3. Nestle the cabbage quarters, cut-sides down, in the pan and cook without disturbing until just softened and starting to caramelize, about 4 minutes. Flip with tongs and repeat on the other cut sides.  
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the wine and tomato paste in a small bowl until combined. Add it to the skillet along with the Parmesan rind and red pepper flakes. Bring the sauce to a boil, then transfer the skillet to the oven.  
  5. Roast until the sauce is thickened and reduced by half, and the cabbage is caramelized and tender, about 40 minutes. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan and return to the oven. Cook just until the cheese has melted, about 3 minutes. Top with the reserved fennel fronds and serve immediately, spooning the sauce over the cabbage.  
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