Charred Savoy Cabbage, Caesar Dressing, Peppery Salad and Smoked Pancetta
This January, we've joined forces with Rob Howell, head chef at veg-centric restaurant 'Root' in Bristol, to create a series of seasonal vegetable recipes for the winter months. Here Rob celebrates the humble cabbage.
is another tainted vegetable that has got itself a bad rep. This is my take on
a warm Caesar salad which is much needed in the winter months. The meat can be
removed or if you wish, this cabbage could be great alongside a steak or pork
2 Savoy Cabbages
Bag of Peppery Salad Mix
20g Vegetarian Italian Hard Cheese
60g Vegetarian Italian Hard Cheese
1 clove Garlic
1 tsp Worcester Sauce
1 tsp Cider Vinegar
200ml Sunflower Oil
1 Red Onion, diced
100ml Red Wine
50ml Rapeseed Oil
For the Caesar Dressing
For the Pancetta Dressing
To make the Caesar dressing, place the ingredients into a blender and blitz on a high speed until smooth and combined. Finish with a good pinch of salt. Give it a taste and double check the seasoning.
To prepare the cabbage, remove any larger hard outside leaves and cut into halves. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and have a bowl of iced water ready. Put the cut cabbages into the boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes depending on size, making sure they are fully submerged. Remove from saucepan and put into ice water. Once chilled, drain, pat dry and store until needed. They keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days if you want to get ahead.
For the pancetta dressing, use a medium saucepan on a low heat and place the diced pancetta into the pan. Cook on a low heat to let all the fat melt and coat the pancetta in the pan so you don’t need to use any oil. When the pancetta has cooked for about 8 minutes and is starting to colour, turn up the heat slightly and add the diced red onion. Cook on a medium heat, stirring well until you are left with some lovely juicy crispy pieces of pork. At this point, add the red wine and reduce. Finish by adding the rapeseed and letting it sit, check seasoning, and add more if needed.
Finish the dish by charring the cabbages, coating them with a little oil and seasoning before cooking on a hot griddle, char grill or frying pan. Leave to cook on each side for about 6-8 minutes until it is really charred, and the outside of the cabbage has almost blackened. This is what brings all the flavour to the dish. Coat the peppery salad mix in the Caesar dressing. Place the cabbage halves on the plate and coat in the Caesar dressing, add the salad to it, finish by spooning the pancetta over the cabbage and grating with some extra parmesan.