Long gone are the days where all cabbages are destined for a slaw. Charred like this, cabbage develops the most beautiful, caramelised flavour, and basting it in the brown butter makes it excellently decadent and oozing with comfort. If you don’t have thyme then rosemary, sage or oregano will work nicely to add flavour to your brown butter. You can use other nuts, if you don’t have hazelnuts, but I do find that other nuts don’t quite bring the same nutty flavour as hazelnuts do. If you can’t eat nuts, toasted salty breadcrumbs will add a delicious crunch to this dish too. Most cabbages will work well treated like this, but I do especially love using a savoy cabbage or a sugarloaf cabbage.
1 whole head of savoy cabbage
1 tablespoon of neutral oil
250g unsalted butter
8-10 sprigs of thyme
A small handful (approx 1/3 cup) hazelnuts
A good pinch of flaky salt
Start by preparing your cabbage. I like to remove any really loose outer leaves, and then cut the cabbage in half, and each half into three, to create six even wedges.
Start heating your neutral oil in a cast iron skillet or similar until nice and hot. Try to spread the oil out so it coats the whole bottom of the pan. Once hot, place cabbage cut side down (I only char one cut edge) and leave it to sizzle away and burn a bit. Once almost there (very nearly burnt), add in butter and thyme and shimmy your pan around so that it works its way around. It will brown quickly.
Using a spoon, baste the cabbage in the brown butter, making sure to spoon it over the other cut edge of the cabbage, as well as the rounded outer edge. Sprinkle the whole things with some flaky salt. If your butter is burning too much, add a little bit more cold butter to help slow down the cooking process.
I like to roughly chop my hazelnuts and add to the pan for the last couple of minutes of cooking, so that they can toast. Alternatively, heat another pan and toast hazelnuts until fragrant and lightly darkened.
When serving, make sure to pour all of the brown butter over the top of the cabbage wedges, they will absorb its nutty delicious flavour. Scatter over the hazelnuts and thyme.